When I was a young adult, in the late ’60s and early ’70s, “ecology” was an unknown term for most ordinary people. My homegrown ideas about conserving trees and water, making my own baby food, avoiding plastic and polyester, and using only cloth diapers branded me as a nutcase. Decades later a friend from that period said, “You were just 20 years ahead of your time!” I’m happy to see the world catching up to me, sad to see I’m falling behind in my mission. This is according to the quiz at My Footprint. It’s quick, easy, and fun (if you’re weird and wired like me). Before you begin, you select a country and language. Nice!
Radio button responses to 12 simple questions about your use of food, water, housing, electricity, and transportation estimate “how much productive land and water you need to support what you use and what you discard,” your footprint on earth, expressed in acres needed to sustain you.
I think I live pretty frugally, but my results read “TOTAL FOOTPRINT 18. IN COMPARISON, THE AVERAGE ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT IN YOUR COUNTRY [US] IS 24 ACRES PER PERSON. WORLDWIDE, THERE EXIST 4.5 BIOLOGICALLY PRODUCTIVE ACRES PER PERSON. IF EVERYONE LIVED LIKE YOU, WE WOULD NEED 4.1 PLANETS”
My Footprint is part of the Global Footprint Network, masterminded by Mathis Wackernagel and William Rees to track “how much individuals, organizations, cities, regions, nations or humanity as a whole consume and compares this amount to the resources nature can provide. More precisely, it shows how much biologically productive land and water area a given population occupies to produce all the resources it consumes and to absorb its waste, using prevailing technology.” Read all about their Ecological Footprint tool.
Read Georganna and post comments at Writer’s Edge