What is an Eco Footprint?
An Eco Footprint is the measurement of the demand and supply of nature. It measures how fast a population, person or product consumes resources and generates waste, and compares this to how fast nature can absorb our waste and generate new resources.
How is an Eco Footprint measured?
The Ecological Footprint (demand) and the Biocapacity (supply) are measured in global hectares and each city, state or nation’s ecological footprint can be compared to its biocapacity.
If a populations ecological footprint exceeds their biocapacity, the population runs at a biocapacity deficit, meaning its demand for the goods and services (timber, livestock & seafood, energy, urban infrastructure) surpasses what the populations ecosystem can regenerate.
Earth Overshoot Day is a date calculated by Global Footprint Network and it is the date when humanity’s demands for resources and services (timber, livestock & seafood, energy, urban infrastructure etc.) in a year exceeds what the Earth can generate. As of 2021 the Earths overshoot day was July 29, which means in less than 8 months, we have used more natural resources than the planet is able to produce in a 12-month period! For the remainder of the year, we will be living in what is called a biocapacity deficit.
This is due to a number of reasons such as waste disposal, deforestation, overpopulation, overfishing, increased carbon footprint, high demand in meat consumption and much more.
What can be done to decrease our ecological impact?
There are many ways we can work towards decreasing our ecological footprint as a whole and individually. Below is a list of things that we can do to decrease our footprint and work towards moving the Earth Overshoot date:
· Pledging for the #movethedate movement
· Reduce our use of single use plastics
· Switch to renewable energy
· Eat less meat – you can start by doing one night a week of vegetarian/ vegan meals
· Recycle plastics
· Food scraps going into Organics bins or starting your own compost bins at home
· Drive less – take the train, share a ride, or ride your bike to work
· Reduce water usage – Reduce your shower times to the recommended 4 minutes
· Change your showerheads and taps to decrease leaks
· Support local businesses – buy from your local fruit & veg store, purchase clothing from Australian made companies
· We encourage you to take the Ecological Footprint test today via the below link! You will find out how many planets we need if we all lived like you and what your personal Overshoot Day is!