Sustainable Living

Measuring Your Ecological Footprint

The ecological footprint concept was developed by Mathis Wackernagle and William Rees to measure the impact that our human activity has on the planet.  The goal was to enable individuals to determine how much of the earth's resources they were using in their daily lives and subsequently to make better choices to reduce the impact that their activities were having on the planet.   The program measures each individual’s use of the earth's resources in terms of water and land area (acres or hectares).

The average American uses about 24 acres to support his or her lifestyle, which is one of the largest ecological footprints in world.  To put this in perspective, the average German has an ecological footprint of 13 acres, while the average Indian has a footprint of 2. 

The problem is that currently our combined human footprint is exceeding the earth’s capacity by about 39%.  In practical terms, this means that our species would need one third more than the present capacity of the earth in order to sustain future generations at our current level.

To find out your personal ecological footprint, all you need to do is click on the image below and provide the information requested:


Resources for Sustainable Living

The following sites provide provocative ideas and helpful tips for living more sustainably:

1 comment:

  1. I'd need 5 1/2 planets....and I live a very simple life! I think that the real problem is that I have to travel a lot by car and plane for work. If it wasn't for that, my results probably would have been much better.


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