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Do I have a little eco footprint?...Unfortunately NOT

…and far from it. I was rather surprised as I had thought we were living a ‘relatively’ green lifestyle. As mentioned in my first post we already do a number of ‘eco’ things around the home. We also try not to consume too much and also try to buy second hand. How wrong was I!!!! I think we need to try a little lot harder!

My footprint ranged from 3.8 global hectares to 4.2 global hectares depending upon which calculator I used. Far from the 1.8 global hectares it should be if we were to ensure the earth is not going to run out of resources. What this means is that I currently need approx. 4 hectares (soccer fields) of resources each year to sustain my lifestyle, but the earth can only realistically regenerate 1.8 hectares of that. That leaves 2.2 hectares of total destruction every year!. Although few realise, our lifestyles impact the earth and its health. The picture below depicts a site that only a few months prior supported a threatened ecological was cleared for a factory that produces goods for us.

Cleared threatened ecological community 470 x 470 

At least my footprint is less than the Australian average of 7.7 global hectares. Unfortunately this makes Australia the world's fifth worst resource guzzling nation. Australians are beaten only by the United Arab Emirates, United States, Kuwait and Denmark.

To live sustainably we need to live within the regenerative and absorptive capacity of the planet. When human demand on this capacity exceeds what is available we erode the health of the earth. Eroding the health of the earth not only causes a loss of biodiversity, it ultimately threatens the way we live our life...and even our life (e.g. widespread starvation). Already global biodiversity has decreased by 30% due to human pressures....In my home state of NSW alone, we have already lost 74 species to extinction since european settlement around 200 years ago.

If our current demands on the planet continue, by the mid-2030s we will need the equivalent of two planets to maintain our lifestyles.


Why not calculate your ecological footprint? Visit this earlier post for a list of links to Ecological Footprint calculators.

My next eco task:

Eco task 2: Explore the lifestyle factors influencing the size of my ecological footprint.