“The ecological footprint is a measure of human demand on the Earth’s ecosystems. It compares human demand with planet Earth’s ecological capacity to regenerate. It represents the amount of biologically productive land and sea area needed to regenerate the resources a human population consumes and to absorb and render harmless the corresponding waste. Using this assessment, it is possible to estimate how much of the Earth (or how many planet Earths) it would take to support humanity if everybody lived a given lifestyle. For 2005, humanity’s total ecological footprint was estimated at 1.3 planet Earths – in other words, humanity uses ecological services 1.3 times as fast as Earth can renew them. Every year, this number is recalculated – with a three year lag due to the time it takes for the UN to collect and publish all the underlying statistics.”
The ecological footprint is a metric used to assess how much of the world’s resources an individual, business, country, etc. consumes. It measures both the actual land and water areas used to produce resources for human consumption, and also the extent of natural resources used to absorb wastes and pollution.
The link below provides more details and a personal eco-footprint calculator you can use to assess the sustainability of your own lifestyle.
I think a very simple way to describe an ecological footprint is that it is our impact and demand on the earth and its resources.
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