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What is an Ecological Footprint?

The ecological footprint of a population of people is a measure of the impact that those people have on their environment. It is measured as the total area of productive land and water that is needed to produce all the resources they consume and get rid of all the waste they produce.

It includes:

  • the area of cropland required to produce the crops consumed.
  • the area of grazing land required to produce the animal products consumed.
  • the area of forest required to produce the wood and paper consumed.
  • the area of sea required to produce the marine fish and seafood consumed.
  • the area of land required for housing and other buildings.
  • the area of forest required to absorb all the carbon dioxide emissions resulting from energy consumption.

Many of us use resources from all over the world and affect far away places with our waste calculating our ecological footprint is a good way of estimating just how big our impact on the whole planet is.

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