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What is Ecological Footprint and Why is it Important?

What is Ecological Footprint and Why is it Important?

The ecological footprint measures the human demand for nature, that is, the amount of nature that is needed to sustain people or an economy. Depending on their lifestyle, an individual has a greater or lesser impact on the environment. Calculating your ecological footprint then allows you to limit your impact on the planet by reducing the number of greenhouse gases related to human activities

In short, it is a measure of human impact on the Earth’s ecosystem and reveals the dependence of the human economy on natural capital.

What is Ecological Footprint

The environmental impact generated by human beings on planet earth can be measured, both individually and as a group. This evaluation is called ecological footprint. It is a means of sustainability indicator to contemplate and analyze the environmental shock that humanity is having.

The ecological footprint or environmental footprint is defined as the measurement of the impact that humanity has on planet earth. It indicates the resources that a person consumes to carry out their daily activities.

However, the ecological footprint can also measure the impact of large-scale human activities, such as regions, cities and countries.

Consequences of the ecological footprint

  • Depletion of natural resources.
  • Deforestation.
  • Ecological imbalance.
  • Overexploitation of resources
  • Biodiversity loss.
  • Soil erosion.

Importance of ecological footprint

The ecological footprint helps to measure the impact that people have on the earth, allowing it to reflect the level of real spending of their actions on the productive areas (resource generating area and waste absorption area).

Showing with very approximate numbers the cost of the activities and their environmental impact on people on earth allows reflective contemplation of the environmental responsibilities that each human being exercises during their vital time.

The environmental footprint is a tool to make the population aware of their actions, verifying their level of impact and offering them alternatives that are more respectful of nature.

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In most cases, real changes begin to be generated when there is data that supports the veracity of the facts, and even more so when the calculation can be measured individually, where responsibility is manifested in a personal way.

Thus, when a study shows the damage that a certain population exerts on an environment, the feeling of guilt is not as strong as when the impact is calculated on a personal level.

How to reduce my ecological footprint?

First and most elementary, we must measure our ecological footprint to see what our real impact on earth is. Once we know our effects on the environment and the causes thereof, we can have a clearer and more detailed idea to reduce our environmental footprint.

However, there are a series of guidelines that we can follow to reduce the ecological footprint, even without having previously calculated it:

  • Use renewable energy sources, such as small wind power, which is a very affordable alternative for home use.
  • Use electrical appliances with low electrical consumption.
  • Opt for less polluting means of transport when distances are short, such as bicycles.
  • Encourage the purchase of ecological products, such as biodegradable cleaning products.
  • Reduce meat consumption, since the meat industry represents one of the sectors that generate the most pollutants worldwide.
  • Optimize the use of water when bathing, brushing our teeth, doing laundry, etc. In order to save us the expense of unnecessary water.
  • Learn how to recycle to reduce air and water pollution.

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