Ecological Footprint Essay
Ecological Footprint Essay
As a way to understand our individual roles in affecting the environment, it is important to reflect on our daily life practices and usages, so please go to the following site and take the quiz to calculate your personal footprint.
Also there would be options to add details to improve your answer accuracy, so I would suggest answering them to have a clearer picture. When you take the quiz note down your answers, or if you have thoughts about any particular questions. After you finish the quiz, you are given a variety of options to decrease your footprint. I encourage you to follow one or more scenarios and also record those figures. After completing the quiz, please make sure that your essay has these following points.
● What was your overall footprint (i.e. how many worlds) for your original calculation? Did this surprise you? Why or why not?
● What was the top economic sector impacting your footprint (i.e. the graph to the right of the world number)? What was the bottom (the least)? From the figures given in these graphs, what do you think are one or two habits/practices of yours that had the greatest impact on your footprint?
● Did you follow any scenarios for lessening your footprint? If so, what were they and how much did it decrease? Did this figure surprise you?
● Thoughts about your role in affecting the environment.
● Number of words: 350-450 words
● MLA Format, Times Font
● Please structure your essay (introduction, body and conclusion)
The ecological footprint is a method promoted by the Global Footprint Network to measure human demand on natural capital, i.e. the quantity of nature it takes to support people or an economy. It tracks this demand through an ecological accounting system. The accounts contrast the biologically productive area people use for their consumption to the biologically productive area available within a region or the world (biocapacity, the productive area that can regenerate what people demand from nature). In short, it is a measure of human impact on the environment.
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Footprint and biocapacity can be compared at the individual, regional, national or global scale. Both footprint and biocapacity change every year with number of people, per person consumption, efficiency of production, and productivity of ecosystems. At a global scale, footprint assessments show how big humanity’s demand is compared to what Earth can renew. Global Footprint Network estimates that, as of 2014, humanity has been using natural capital 1.7 times as fast as Earth can renew it, which they describe as meaning humanity’s ecological footprint corresponds to 1.7 planet Earths.
Ecological footprint analysis is widely used around the world in support of sustainability assessments. It enables people to measure and manage the use of resources throughout the economy and explore the sustainability of individual lifestyles, goods and services, organizations, industry sectors, neighborhoods, cities, regions and nations.
The first academic publication about ecological footprints was written by William Rees in 1992. The ecological footprint concept and calculation method was developed as the PhD dissertation of Mathis Wackernagel, under Rees’ supervision at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, from 1990 to 1994. Originally, Wackernagel and Rees called the concept “appropriated carrying capacity”. To make the idea more accessible, Rees came up with the term “ecological footprint”, inspired by a computer technician who praised his new computer’s “small footprint on the desk”. In 1996, Wackernagel and Rees published the book Our Ecological Footprint: Reducing Human Impact on the Earth.
The simplest way to define an ecological footprint is the amount of environmental resources necessary to produce the goods and services that support an individual’s particular lifestyle.
The model is a means of comparing consumption and lifestyles, and checking this against biocapacity. The tool can inform policy by examining to what extent a nation uses more (or less) than is available within its territory, or to what extent the nation’s lifestyle would be replicable worldwide. The footprint can also be a useful tool to educate people about overconsumption, with the aim of altering personal behavior. Ecological footprints may be used to argue that many current lifestyles are not sustainable. Country-by-country comparisons show the inequalities of resource use on this planet.
The GHG footprint or the more narrow carbon footprint are a component of the ecological footprint. Often, when only the carbon footprint is reported, it is expressed in weight of CO2 (or CO2e representing GHG warming potential (GGWP)), but it can also be expressed in land areas like ecological footprints. Both can be applied to products, people or whole societies.