How Big Is Yours?

Travelling, clubbing, shopping, smoking, watching TV, using your laptop, eating – we are consuming and consuming but we are not aware of the consequences of our happy-consuming society.

Everybody announces, that we are living over our standards and that we are a hedonistic society that does not know any limits – yeah, ok that sounds incredibly bad.

However, do you have any clue about how your way of living really stresses our world?

No? – me neither, at least till the point when I first came in contact with the ecological footprint, that a fellow student once introduced in a presentation.

I find it worth spreading , because it really can help you to see the problem in sizable numbers.

What does the ecological footprint measure?

“The ecological footprint is a means to measure the area of land and ocean (worlds) required to support your consumption of food, goods, services, housing and energy and assimilates your wastes.” that is how the website explains it. Moreover, the footprint is expressed in “global hectares per person”. According to encyclopedia it is defined in that way: “Global hectare per person refers to the amount of biologically productive land and water available per person on the planet. e.g., in 2005 there were 13.4 billion hectares of biologically productive land and water available and 6.5 billion people on the planet. This is an average of 2.1 global hectares per person.”There are four consumption categories which are regarded: carbon, food, houses and goods and services.

Moreover the quiz always gives you the average global amounts of the different areas. Thus you can compare how “good or bad” your consumption actually is.

These are my results and I was really surprised!

Admittedly, I am a “bad girl” if we regard, that there are actually just 2.1 global hectares per person and I need more than 30! This really shocked me and did not get better when I watched the average amounts of Germans which are always higher than my results. Moreover, I liked that they state how many Earths you would need if everybody lives the ways you do, because we only have 1, indeed.

Ok, I have got my results, but what to do now?

That is a big advantage of this internet site because it gives concrete and easily realizable hints how to reduce your footprint.

The website states suggestions like:

  • Walk, bike, or take public transit whenever possible.
  • Avoid short airplane trips-take a bus or train instead.
  • Choose energy-efficient appliances.
  • Dry your clothes outside whenever possible.
  • Plant a garden-it doesn’t get more local than that.
  • Buy less! Replace items only when you really need to.
And many more!

It will only take you some minutes to do the Quiz. Just try it and find out yourself how “bad” you really live and maybe we are comparing our ecological footprints rather than other things in the future!

Give it a thought!