:: Eco-Design Tools - Print Version

Footprinting
A tool used early on in the design process to raise awareness and illustrate a persons impact on the world.
The website activity below is intended for use as individuals but discussion can take place in groups afterwards.

How to use the activity...
   - Go to www.myfootprint.org or www.bestfootforward.com

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Scroll down the home page until you find 'New Footprint Lifestyle Calculator'

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Click on test. A new window comes up.

   - Click on Estimate your footprint

You are asked a number of questions about your lifestyle. As you give the answers, you can see how many planets are needed to support the way you live if everyone lived the same way.


Further information about Footprinting
Footprint researchers have calculated the potential productivity of the land and sea available on this planet and divided this by the population. If we allocate 12% of land for biodiversity, then our individual share of productive land is 1.9 hectares.

It has been calculated that if everyone lived the average British lifestyle we would need 3 planets like earth to support us. If everyone on the planet consumed the resources that the average person in Bangladesh does we would only be using a bit more than a third of the Earth's resources. If everyone lived like the average US citizen we would need 5 planets. 20% of the world's population have 86% of the world's wealth.

Because so many of us are consuming so much, the total resources consumption of the 6 billion people now on the planet is using 1.5 times the resources available (we would need another half a planet to provide for present consumption sustainably). Consuming more than is available seems impossible, but what we are doing is "spending the capital", ruining areas of the planet by polluting them, causing soil erosion etc and therefore reducing the amount of productive land available.