ecological footprint

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The concept of Ecological Footprint was developed by William Rees and Mathis Wackernagel in 1990 and it means the amount of productive land and water that people in a particular part of the world need to provide them with an indefinite supply of renewable resources while also recycling all the waste and pollution related to their use of this resources. In other words, it tracks the demands placed by humans living of the Earth’s natural supplies by region, country and individual person. The Global Footprint Network is a non-profit started in 2003 with the objective of enabling a sustainable future that would allow all humanity to live satisfying lives within the supply capabilities of one planet. To do so they measure human impact on the Earth’s natural resources, using the Ecological Footprint, to better inform the use of these resources and create ways to prevent their overuse and depletion. They use Footprints as one would use a bank statement, tracking withdrawals and deposits to see if different regions, countries and individual persons are living within their ecological budgets or if are going into overdrafts, using resources faster than the Earth can replenish and in larger quantities. For example, today, as a whole, humanity is in overshoot because it uses the equivalent of 1.5 planets a year to provide the resources we use and regenerate our waste. Overshoot is when our demands exceed the supply and the regenerative capacity of the Earth. In their view of the future these individual Ecological Footprints will be tracked as closely as the stock market, ensuring that buildings, products and cities are projected to have a one-planet Footprint, and where humans take care to live within the renewing means of our planet. T... ... middle of paper ... ...r redecorate a house on yearly basis; I use only energy saver light bulbs in both countries; I travel by plane about the same in both places. The only thing that comes to mind is my individual use of land for energy production, which in the United States was high and in Brazil is nearly non-existent, it makes sense since Brazil uses mostly renewable energy sources, like Hydroelectric power plants and Windmill power plants, those types of clean energy sources making up over 85.4% of the country’s energy supply. The United States uses over 7.0 acres of productive land per capita to supply its needs, well over its biocapacity that would be a little over 4.0. Brazil uses around 2.5 acres per capita to supply needs well below its biocapacity of 12 acres per capita, in the 60s Brazil had a biocapacity of 24 acres per capita so we can see how that is shrinking fast too.

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