The ecological footprint plays a major role in everyone's life. But what does it actually indicate? What is the ecological footprint? How can you calculate it and what are the important components of the footprint? Read the text to find out more and improve your life.
The meaning of the ecological footprint
The ecological footprint shows how much space a person (deepens on consumption) needs to lead his life in this way. This makes it an indicator of sustainability, including flat areas that are needed to produce clothing and food or to provide energy. In addition, the ecological footprint also includes the accumulation or removal of waste. The footprint can then be compared with the biocapacity of the world or region, i. e. the available biologically productive area.
The unit of measurement of the ecological footprint is the gha (global hectare). 1gha = 10,000 m²
It is a uniform unit of measurement to consider the different fertility of soils.
Personal motivation to reduce one’s own ecological footprint.
There are many ways to reduce your own footprint:
First of all, it’s important not to eat too much meat, because the production of such often costs huge amounts. This does not mean, of course, that you should not even eat animal products anymore, but that it also matters how the animal is kept and whether the product is a domestic product or whether it has been imported. That makes a big difference.
Secondly, the long or many air journeys are also a huge part of the ecological footprint. Therefore, it is very important not to always go on holiday, or you should generally reduce your holiday or spend in your own country. The more flying or driving, the more CO2 is produced, which is bad for the environment. This procession massively increases global warming, and this enormous heat then also affects the winter and the production of food and other products.
Another point is, where the food and products come from, or whether they are local or exported. This makes a big difference, because a lot of CO2 is released into the environment for import. Due to the long transport routes of many exotic products, the oceans are often used a lot and therefore the habitat of the aquatic animals is partly destroyed, or the animals can no longer live in peace. It also makes a big difference whether you’re on foot or by bike, or whether you’re going to drive a lot of long distances. While too many people travel by car and thus emit large amounts of CO2, cyclists and pedestrians also ensure a good ecological footprint.
How to calculate your own ecological footprint
To calculate your own ecological footprint, you have to answer some questions about your life.
The most common questions are about housing, food, mobility and consumption. You can calculate your own ecological footprint on various websites, and we've linked you to another site below that's excellent for calculating your footprint.
Ida K., Sarah M., Helene S.