Your ecological footprint – what?!

green-footprint-shutterstock11I could start with the typical “save the earth, it is the only we have”, which is completely true, but I will start to tell you that we, as humans need to stop acting like the planet is infinite and it is never going to run out of resources, if not for the earth we share, for ourselves. It will. It is already… And still, it passes us by like it is nothing. Why? Because we don’t see it truly in front of us. If we see war, we see dead people, we see injured people, we know it is happening, we know we need to do something. We don’t see the impact of our actions in our planet, at least clearly. But it is happening.

Yesterday, according to the Global Footprint Network, was the Earth Overshoot Day. For those of you who are not familiar with this, the Earth Overshoot Day is the date our Ecological Footprint exceeds our planet’s “annual budget”. That means that we already spent what Earth can regenerate during this year. In practical terms, we need a planet and a half to produce the resources that we are spending in one year. If you want to know your ecological footprint, click here. In the link you will also find tips on how to reduce your ecological footprint.

In 1961 we used 3 quarters of the Earth’s capacity. Now, we didn’t even got to the end of the year, and we already need a new planet. As you can imagine, in the long term, this will lead to several problems: climate change, biodiversity loss, deforestation, lack of food, lack of water and lack of other resources essential and non-essential to human life. It will also bring, in my opinion, conflict over these resources, if the situation continues to escalate like this.

So, how can we make Earth sustainable again? Well, first of all, we need to stop acting like it is something for others to deal with. Reducing the ecological footprint is a responsibility of everyone. We also have to realise that it is not easy and that it won’t happen fast. But, if we try, we can make a better planet.

What do you do to reduce your ecological footprint? Tell me below!

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46 Comments

Filed under Environmental, Uncategorized

46 responses to “Your ecological footprint – what?!

  1. Pete Hulme

    Thanks for sharing this important perspective. Sadly, the UK isn’t yet in their footprint calculator but I’m sure we won’t come out of the calculation well when it is posted.

    I’m reminded of Rifkin’s book ‘The Empathic Civilization.’ Though the news is full of our cruelty to one another, large units of civilisation are built upon co-operation and mutual understanding not conflict. He argues that, as wider empathy creates bigger civilisations we need to consume more resources to sustain them, until what we need becomes unsustainable. One of the starkest statements of that principle comes early in his book (page 44): ‘The tragic flaw of history is that our increased empathic concern and sensitivity grows in direct proportion to the wreaking of greater entropic damage to the world we all cohabit and rely on for our existence and perpetuation.’

    We clearly need not only to learn how to widen the compass of our compassion to include more of our fellow human beings, but also to include all life on this planet and even the planet itself.

  2. My initial reaction is to provide a cookie cutter response to your thought provoking question is to point a finger at the “usual suspects” … blame consumerism and call for more recycling. However those are well worn cliches. I am now changing my tune (and will be focusing on different aspects of the next couple thoughts in my own blog in the future).

    I think it is now time for everyone to start thinking about personal accountability and responsibility in all aspects of life. It is very easy to pass the buck and say this is something that has to be taken care of by the leaders in government or CEOs of companies or the next person in the queue. I say everyone needs to change their way of thinking. Instead of tossing a few euros or pennies at non-profits with good slogans, we need to start emphasizing people start looking at ways they can change themselves first. We have heard the worn cliche “Think Gobal but Act Local” ,.. just for starters it needs to be changed to “Think Global but Act Local Responsibly”.

    I will explore this more in my blog when I have the time.

  3. I have written a book, The Dynamic Great Lakes, to show people how the Great Lakes work and what might be done to preserve them through the democratic processes. I also blog about Great Lakes. That is what I do.

  4. I make small everyday choices. Like what I eat, where I travel and how. One of my hobbies is to read informations about the products. And I am the one who turns the lights off, even in the public places. 😉

  5. You’re awesome.
    It’s nice to see someone talk about something useful that’s not being discussed like it should.
    You are right, we don’t see the full picture to what is happening, we’re just looking at what’s in front of us.
    So many things happen and go wrong because they’re overlooked and with the population as high as it is doesn’t help neither does over use of things that impact the earth.

    Thanks for sharing
    Jason

    • Thank for coming by! I agree with you that the issues are not being discussed as they should…we are all responsible for our planet, and indeed we don’t see the full picture of our actions…

      • wow such fast reply lol
        It takes everyone to make something happen so if everyone does nothing than everything gets out of hand to the point it can no longer be controlled but if everyone pulls together to clean up than it can make a huge difference.

      • I was right behind the computer 🙂
        Well, the problem is not everyone is willing to cooperate…

      • Right behind it huh…i figured you were right in front of it….hummm 😛
        This is why the planet is going where it’s going.
        There’s just not enough awareness and i think we’re at the point where it’s almost too late if it isn’t already.
        You’d be amazed at what the littlest things can do.
        eg. you could be the one to move out of the way for a Ambulance to spare those extra few seconds to save someone’s life.

      • Actually, really right behind it 🙂 Of course, to write, I had to seat in front of it.
        Yes, small acts can change a lot…

  6. Hi Tania – thanks for visiting my blog. In response to your question, I live totally off-grid, so that’s something, I guess, and hope, with my books, to raise awareness of the sacred quality of nature itself, as I believe one will protect the things one cares about.

    One thing most people don’t talk about—and I certainly understand why—is not having children, or at least so many. When I was young (sorry to say, many years ago), there was talk about “zero population growth,” and that was when there were only THREE billion humans on the planet.

    Am I just a pessimist? Do people not see the same things happening in the world? Why do they want to bring a new generation into this mess? It escapes me.

    I see from your picture that you are young, so perhaps you still have hope we as a species can make a radical change. I wish you well in all your pursuits, and keep on blogging!

    • I am still young indeed, middle twenties, so I still hope to make a change. Raising awareness is part of my will to do it…I believe we need to start thinking as a whole to cooperate and try to minimize our impact on earth.

  7. I think it has to be an intelligent dialogue, married to intelligent practice. Sometimes I feel like I don’t see that happening.

  8. I think that at the very core of it, the educational systems are set up to support the modern global business model that we all now consider normal. Core programmes, as much as possible, should instead be more focused on local community development and sustainable food production. I would like to think positively, but fear it will take extreme events on a global scale to bring about change on a level necessary for this to happen. On an individual level (me personally), I purchase local, seasonal food as much as possible and limit meat consumption.

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  11. I’m truly sad to say it, but issues like eco-footprint and global warming probably won’t get seriously addressed until something like the way cigarettes got it. Legislation didn’t do it. Litigation did … when the body count got high enough.

    It’s not hopeless yet. Telling everybody they had to leave the building to smoke was unthinkable (and unthunk) 25 years ago. Now it’s unthinkable (in most of the U.S.) to light up inside. Even in your own car, if you have passengers.

    Big shifts do happen. Keep on keeping on.

  12. Schumacher’s “Small is Beautiful” deserves a re-print. Excellent blog. Hadn’t heard of Earth Overshoot Day. Sounds like Tax Freedom Day, only worse.

  13. Just keep talking about it honestly. Not with doom or with optimism for solutions but with real world pragmatism. I have to say though, its a tough road. Great post.

  14. First, thank you for liking my post!

    A couple of remarks on this excellent blog. I would never say that we need to “save the planet”. While we seem set to destroy ourselves and much of nature, Gaia has seen worse before and recovered. More importantly, you are right to say that we need to stop blaming everybody else – government, corporations, etc. – and see our own responsibility. If everyone in the world had the lifestyle of the “most committed” environmentalist on the recent marches about climate change, we would see virtually no change in the many environmental issues we face; it is the choices we in the West make as consumers every day that is causing the problems. It seems to me that we will not make any progress until we accept/embrace a very different lifestyle to that which we currently enjoy. But will we do that, or is it easier to assuage our consciences by marching, signing petitions, and blaming others? Crucially, if we are to deviate from our current unsustainable development path we need to articulate a truly sustainable lifestyle that is acceptable to people around the world – and that is not an easy thing to do! We will only begin to make that transition by recognising and changing our own role in the problems, and stop blaming others and calling for others to change.

  15. thortonjakes

    Wonderful! I wish sustainability would become commonplace. We live in a society where conspicuous consumption defines social status. Sustainability needs to be at least as profitable as being wasteful, or all the marches and petitions will sadly just be a waste of time.

    • Thank you! Indeed, we need to be sustainable, but first, we need to understand what that is. I think a lot of people don’t do more because the’re not really aware of what is going on and how it will affect every living being in the future

  16. Reblogged this on Barryjb's Blog and commented:
    Our environmental footprint is a very important standard each of needs to be aware of as it relates to our communities. Each of us individually can do a little bit to help, the best that can happen is that we gather people in our community to help each other to make our environmental footprint sustainable.

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