4.3 Ecological footprint You’ve probably heard of the Ecological Footprint the measuring tool that allows us to calculate human pressure on the planet and come up with facts, such as: If everyone lived the lifestyle of the average American we would need five planets. Humanity needs what nature provides, but how do
we know how much we’re using and how much is available? The Ecological Footprint has emerged as a measure of humanity’s demand on nature. It measures how much land and water area a human population requires to produce the resources it consumes and to absorb its wastes, using prevailing technology.
Today humanity uses the equivalent of 1.5 planets to provide the total resources we use and absorb our waste. This means it now takes the earth one year and six months to regenerate what we use in a year. Turning resources into waste faster than waste can be turned back into resources puts us in global ecological overshoot, depleting the very resources on which human life and biodiversity depend. Whose feet are biggest? What do you think? Who
uses – or wastes! – the most resources? Here are some examples: United Arab Emirates: 10.7 hectares/person USA, Belgium: 8 Sweden: 5.8 Saudi Arabia, Uruguay: 5.1 UK, Malaysia: 4.9 Belarus, Russia: 4.0
A guide for leaders of workshops for comics for sustainable development