In my last blog I wrote about the importance of carbon footprint in living a low carbon lifestyle. Earlier I have also written about water footprint and its importance. In today's blog I want to talk about ecological footprint and why it is important for living an eco-friendly lifestyle. Note that water and carbon footprint are the sub sets of ecological footprint.
Ecological footprint is the measure of human demand on nature's productive resources (for example, cropland, grazing land or sea) and the quantity of waste generated. This demand is compared to the nature's capacity to absorb and generate new resources also known as biocapacity or the supply side. Ecological footprint and biocapacity are expressed in terms of global hectares (gha) per person. Note that keeping our consumption and waste generation rates well below the absorbing and renewing capacity of nature is crucial for attaining Sustainability. However, as per Global Footprint Network the world's average ecological footprint is 2.84 gha per person and the biocapacity is 1.73 gha per person which means that our consumption and waste generation rate exceeds the nature's capacity to renew and absorb and hence we are facing a global ecological deficit. Since we do not have another planet from where we can import resources, we are using resources from our natural capital. Our natural capital is the stock of natural resources that are as yet unexplored like some reserve forests, rivers etc. We are in a race of exploiting more and more natural resources. Because of this excessive exploitation we are about to face the Earth Overshoot day on the 1st of August this year.
|Graphical representation of ecological footprint, biocapacity and ecological deficit|
I will be writing more on this and how we can live an eco-friendly lifestyle with these finite resources in my next blog.