An ecological footprint measures humans’ consumption of natural resources against the Earth’s ecological capacity to regenerate them. You can start to take action and leave the world in better shape than you found it. There are many simple things you can do to reduce your ecological footprint. Calculate your Ecological
1. Don’t drive when there is an alternative
Walk, bike or use public transit if possible to reduce your contribution to air pollution.
2. Reduce energy use
Install energy-saving lamps in your home. Unplug your electronics when not in use. Use compact fluorescent light bulbs.
3. Eat local, organic and in season foods
Shop at your local farmer’s market. Look for local, in-season foods that haven’t traveled long distances to reach you. Choose foods with less packaging. Start to grow your own vegetables and fruit.
4. Eat less meat and dairy
According to OvershootDay.org, a nutritionally balanced, vegetarian diet has an ecological footprint that is 2.5 times lower than a diet composed mostly of animal-based proteins. By reducing your meat consumption, you can drastically reduce your ecological footprint and your environmental impact. Eating more vegetables could improve your health for the long-term. You don’t have to go vegan just reduce meat and dairy consumption.
5. Use less water
Take shorter, less frequent showers. Wash your car less often. Run dishwasher and washing machine only when full.
6. Plant more tree
Trees provide so many benefits to our everyday lives. They help to reduce ozone levels in urban areas. Trees filter clean air, provide fresh drinking water.
A carbon offset
A carbon offset is a way to compensate for your emissions by funding an equivalent carbon dioxide saving elsewhere. For example, an individual might purchase carbon offsets to compensate for the greenhouse gas emissions caused by personal air travel. Carbon offsetting is a way to reduce the emissions that you can’t.
You could calculate your flight’s CO₂ footprint and offsetting costs in renewable energy projects. The most common type of project is renewable energy, such as wind farms, biomass energy, or hydroelectric dams.
Our human activities consume resources and produce waste, and nature needs to have the capacity to meet these demands. The ‘Ecological Footprint’ is a way to measure our human demand on nature. This video explains what it is.
Check also an online food carbon footprint calculator.
Image: Jess Foami
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