REFE Project

Ce este amprenta ecologică?

What is an ecological footprint and why should we care about it? All of us have stumbled across the term “ecological footprint la un moment dat sau altul și am auzit întrebarea, câte pământuri este nevoie pentru a-ți susține stilul de viață? Ceea ce sună exagerat la început, dar, din păcate, este adevărul.

Let’s begin, by asking the question, what is an ecological footprint? The ecological footprint is a way to measure the impact and demand your lifestyle has upon the environment. It is expressed as the amount of land and water required to produce what we consume and to absorb the waste we generate. This might sound confusing at first, but simply means that all of us have demands that nature is expected to meet. These demands can vary from driving a car, eating an avocado for breakfast, or living in a house. The less sustainable your demands are, the larger becomes your ecological footprint. But as we know, nature has a limited amount of resources, which means not all of our excessive demands can be met forever.

Have you ever heard of the “earth overshoot day”? It marks the day every year when people all over the world have exhausted all the resources the earth naturally provides. This day serves as a reminder that our resources are limited and we cannot be wasteful with them. The only reason it is possible for some of us to be lavish with them is that others are not. The ecological footprint varies from country to country and from person to person. For example, the average ecological footprint in Romania per person is 2.71 gha while it is 0.98 gha in Nepal. If everyone were equally as unrestrained with resources, as some are, we would need more than one earth.  

Many believe that, when it comes to reducing your own ecological footprint, it means renouncing the life you have lived before. But it does not have to be this radical. There are simple ways to slowly become more conscious and live a more sustainable lifestyle. For example, reducing the use of disposable plastic, switching to renewable energy, eating less meat, recycling and supporting locals. If you’re a student taking notes on paper, consider using both sides of the page to consume fewer trees. If you live in a crowded city, consider using public transport or a bicycle instead of your personal fossil fuel car. For more practical tips and tricks, follow us on Instagram și Facebook!

Majoritatea oamenilor nu știu cât de mare are efectul propriului stil de viață asupra mediului. Calculând amprenta dvs. ecologică, deveniți mai conștienți de aceasta. Vă va ajuta apoi să vă gestionați activele ecologice mai înțelept și să vă reduceți amprenta ecologică.

Deci, cât de durabil este stilul tău de viață? Află și acționează!

If you would like to calculate your own ecological footprint, here is an interactive calculator from the Global Footprint Network: https://www.footprintcalculator.org/home

Foto: Markus Spiske, Unsplash