How big is your ecological footprint?
There are a lot of buzz words floating around today pertaining to our environment: global warming, carbon emissions, deforestation, recycling, population growth and George W. Bush to name a few.
The scope of some of these environmental problems can be downright ominous and overbearing, making you feel as if any attempt to challenge these social ills seem futile, like there is no way that one person can do anything to right these ecological wrongs. After all, you don’t have a hand in industrial pollution, you’re probably not a governmental policy maker and on top of that, you recycle. You’re not the problem. Or are you?
Nonprofit and nonpartisan environmental sustainability organization Redefining Progress wants you to take a look in the mirror and come to terms with your actual impact on this planet and its long term sustainability. They have developed the ecological footprint quiz, available at [www.myfootprint.org], as a means of measuring your impact on the environment.
The quiz gives test takers a general idea of how much they consume and how much waste they produce, pointing out the amount of land area that would be needed to sustain these activities.
Food, goods, shelter and mobility are the focus areas in the short 15 question quiz. The average ecological footprint in the United States is 24 acres per person, but worldwide, there is roughly 4.5 biologically active acres per person. That means it would take 5 planet earths to sustain the level of consumption and waste production in the U.S. alone.
These statistics are not meant to depress you, but to motivate you to take action and make a positive change at home and in the community. Whether it means involvement in an environmentally friendly community organization or taking the recycling down to the bin at your local school, the overall goal is to reduce the footprint that is ultimately left behind for future generations.
Ecological Footprint Quiz
Office footprint calculator