Ecological footprints are calculated on the dimensions of land and water required to grow crops, produce livestock, wood products and energy as well as the area required to absorb the carbon dioxide produced by burning fossil fuels. The size of our individual footprint depends on where we live, what we eat, how we travel and other ways that we use energy and consumer the earth’s resources.
What is scary is that the combined footprint of the world exceeds the Earth’s capacity by around 25 %. People are turning resources into waste faster than nature can turn waste back into resources.
North Americans have the biggest footprint at 9.6 hectares – that’s around 20 football fields; Australia isn’t far behind at 6.6. So New Zealand s probably around the same sort of figure.
So it’s all in our interests to look at our energy usage, water use, carbon dioxide generated and air pollution produced. That’s where cityhop comes in! Car share is one of the ways that you can make a difference to your transport use.
When cityhop first launched, how big is your footprint was one of the themes we were going to use to encourage people to think about their consumption.
To have a sustainable future those of us in the western world probably need to reduce our footprint by around 75 % to achieve a sustainable future. That’s similar to reducing greenhouse gases by 60 to 80 % which is what scientists claim is necessary by the middle of this century to avoid climate change.
We are going to write a series of blogs over the next little while on all the small steps we can take that have the potential to make a HUGE difference.