The ecological footprint, also known as the Environmental Footprint, is the sum of all human activities that affect the environment. It is the product of all individual and collective activities that have an effect on the environment. Its measurement is measured as the difference between the carbon dioxide equivalent emissions, or CO2e emissions, and their effects on the environment.
The environmental footprint covers all physical activities that we are involved in. It does not only include those physical activities that affect the environment, but also all of the equipment we use, the raw materials we use, the energy we use, the chemicals we use and so on. The ecological footprint comes from all of these activities, and by combining them into a single accounting of the total, it can be found. The ecological footprint thus gives us a clear picture of how we are affecting the environment, and how we should be doing our part to preserve our earth.
The term ‘environmental footprint’ itself is controversial. It was not coined until 1994, when the Montreal Protocol was introduced. This was an agreement made by many countries, to phase out their use of chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, which are a class of chemicals. However, at the time, a lot of scientists argued that the environmental footprint did not actually exist at all. Some scientists argued that because they were being used for decades, they had already been created.
For the purposes of this ecological footprint worksheet, it is important to remember that it refers to the total human impact on the environment. This includes both the direct effects that we create, such as traffic, and the indirect effects, such as the ways in which we affect the animals and plants that live on the planet. The indirect effects are the types of things that we do not even realize we are causing, such as deforestation. This is often called the ‘stranded costs’ effect, because it causes harm to those animals and plants that were not using up the resources before we came along.
It is important to note that when using this ecological footprint worksheet, you will be doing an assessment of the total overall impact on the environment of your activities. The results of this should be considered when you are deciding what you are going to do to help protect the environment. For example, if you currently are a non-smoker, then a reduction in your impact on the environment could be achieved by simply stopping smoking. It should also be noted that each of the activities and products mentioned in the worksheet have the potential to have an effect on the environment, and are not in isolation.
One way to go about the assessment of your environmental footprint is to get yourself a copy of the Environmental Footprint Worksheet. This is a worksheet created by a member of the Ecological Footprint Movement. You will be able to find this worksheet in most online sources that deal with environmental issues. The Ecological Footprint Movement is a worldwide campaign, which seeks to promote awareness about the impact of human activities on the environment. This is important because the ecological footprint is something that each individual must take responsibility for.
The Ecological Footprint Worksheet is the best way to get started when looking at your own footprint, and making decisions on how to get the most impact out of your actions. Although it is possible to reduce your environmental footprint, it will require a commitment from each person that it should be done. The worksheet is not going to be an instant solution to your environmental problem, but it is the first step that you need to take towards a cleaner environment.
Getting the worksheet is a good way to get started, but before you can implement the techniques it provides, you should first identify what you need to do to get your ecological footprint down to zero. For more information, you can contact the EcoFlex, a website where all of the techniques discussed on the Ecological Footprint Worksheet can be found. Once you have completed the worksheet, it is up to you to take action and ensure that you are part of the solutions to clean up the environment.