Your Ecological Footprint: Defining, Calculating, and Reducing Your Environmental Footprint

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Ecological footprint: what is it?
An analysis that gauges our impact on the planet's biological systems, the ecological footprint measures human consumption of natural resources in comparison to Earth's ecological capacity to regenerate them. Individually, each of us has "a footprint," and, collectively, they aggregate across geographical zones and other means of classification. Calculation of the footprint takes into account just about everything we do; from the food we eat, to the house we live in, to the car we drive and the other consumption habits we practice each day. It's a very complex calculation that answers a straightforward question: how much of the Earth's resources do our lifestyles require?

The expression of the size of our individual or collective footprint is usually expressed in the number of planets we'd need to support our current lifestyles (hint: everyone reading this on a computer is assuredly above 1). It's a very widely-used measure, and is most useful as a way to take a small amount of information and apply it to a wider population.Keep reading to learn how to define and determine ecological footprints.