What is your ecological footprint?

The stores are full of products, we have instant water or electricity, we have a wide transport network that allows us to go wherever we want … We live in abundance and, apparently, our resources are infinite. But is this situation sustainable? Precisely, to try to answer this question, researchers William Rees and Mathis Wackernager defined a new indicator that they named the “ ecological footprint ”. Due to its clarifying value and its educational potential, this parameter has been adopted as a key reference by all those who are concerned about sustainability .

The ecological footprint measures “the area necessary to produce the resources consumed by an average citizen of a certain community, as well as the area necessary to absorb the waste it generates, regardless of where these areas are located.” The illusion that there is an inexhaustible cornucopia at the service of our consumption vanishes like smoke when we calculate our footprint.

On a global scale, the ecological footprint has exceeded the planet’s resource-generating capacity since the 1980s. The footprint for 1961 was estimated at 70% of the Earth’s regenerative capacity. In the 1980s, consumption reached the total available, and in 1999 it exceeded planetary availability. Now humanity is consuming 120% of what the planet produces. Translated into domestic economy terms, we are spending above our daily monthly salary and covering the deficit by making use of the inheritance that our grandparents left us.

And what can I do?

By following these simple tips, you can reduce your ecological footprint.

* Buy in moderation. The less you buy the less waste you will generate, the more money you will save and the less material dependencies you will have.

* Use energy-saving appliances and light bulbs. Opt, if you can, for bioclimatic homes and insulate your home well.

* Reduce water consumption. Start your washing machine when it’s full and use low-temperature programs (90 percent more energy is spent washing in hot water). Fix leaks (a leaky tap loses 30 liters a day).

* Do not use the drain as a wastebasket or spill polluting products or used oil.

* Avoid products with too much packaging, especially those made of white cork. Before recycling remember the previous steps to reduce and if possible reuse.

* Recycle your paper and buy it 100% recycled and chlorine-free. You will substantially reduce the consumption of water, oil, CO2 emissions and you will avoid the felling of many trees.

* Do not throw away dangerous or toxic products; take them to a clean point for their correct treatment.

* Buy local products and bring your own bag when shopping.

* Walk as far as you can or use the bike and public transport instead of the car. If you cannot do without the private vehicle, try to share it and keep it in good condition so that it consumes and pollutes less.

* Avoid single-use products (kitchen paper, napkins, tissues, cutlery, razors …)

You can see the complete document on the ecological footprint here

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