7: Ecological footprint
What’s your footprint? Nearly everyone understands this term as a general indication of each individual’s impact on our planet’s resources. A statistical method originally developed by Mathis Wackernagel, the Ecological Footprint analyses and compares human demand on the Earth’s ability to regenerate resources and absorb our wastes. It lets us examine and compare lifestyles between individuals, businesses and countries, helping us to assess the sustainability of all our choices. In the last three decades, ecological footprinting has entered mainstream consciousness thanks to WWF’s Living Planet Report. It uses Wackernagel’s analysis to present exactly how and where humanity’s demands exceed the Earth’s capacity to sustain us. According to the 2012 report, the last time humans lived within the regenerative capacity of the Earth was 1976, with the latest figures indicating that we’re currently using one and a half planet’s worth of resources.