Mother Earth is one big intricate ecosystem, people are but one piece of the puzzle. Ecosystems are complex interconnected webs, where each part is vital to the overall health of the system. Humans, and our activities, therefore impact all other life on the Earth. Humanity, in general, is not participating in a balanced, sustainable way and it is wreaking havoc on our entire planet.
Unfortunately, environmentalism is often regarded as a negative subject, and yes, we do need to take a sobering look at the state of the world. Things like where we are ecologically and socially.
However, here at Lotus Tribe, we prefer to be positive about the power we have to create change, both as individuals, and as a collective. We also like to be solution based, but before we can solve a problem, we have to accurately asses where we are.
So, have ever wondered what your personal impact on the environment is? How much strain do you place on the finite resources of this wonderful planet we call home? Why should you care? Could you do better?
What is an Ecological Footprint?
Modern countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia and those in Europe use a lot more resources than developing countries. How many resources they use has come to be known as their Ecological Footprint. It is called this because, much like the footprints we leave while walking in the sand, the number of resources we use has an impact upon the earth, leaving a mark.
If everyone in the world lived the same lifestyle as U.S. citizens (in terms of resource consumption), we would need more than 5 Earth's worth of resources to support everyone's need. This is not sustainable. We don't need to sacrifice or go without, we simply need to make better, conscious choices.
What's Your Ecological Footprint?
Each of us has a personal ecological footprint as well. Those of us living in western cultures have the greatest opportunity to make real change and lighten our impact upon the Earth.
Your individual ecological footprint is calculated by how many resources you use and how much land mass it takes to support your resource consumption. The main areas are: how you feed yourself, the goods you buy, transportation and your home.
The first step, on your journey to help heal the planet, is to recognize your Ecological Footprint. CLICK HERE to complete a free, online Ecological Footprint calculator. No need to enter an email or any personal info, it is simply a tool for your own knowledge. Just answer a few questions about your lifestyle and resource use to better understand the impact you make. Try it now, we'll wait.
Once you have completed the survey, you will get a score showing how many earths your lifestyle would require, if everyone on the planet lived just like you do.
This tool is indispensable to fully appreciate your personal resource use, as well as the main areas you could make changes in. Please utilize this quiz by answering a few questions.
This tool will also help you identify what aspects of your life are ecologically sound and what areas you could use to improve on. For example, perhaps you ride your bike to work or use public transportation, then your transportation aspects are probably doing pretty good, but maybe you also eat a lot of meat, which is very resource costly. Or visa versa, you're vegetarian and have a low environmental cost in terms of food needs, but you commute two hours each day in a personal car to and from work. The only way to know, is it to actually calculate your personal resource use.
One of our favorite quotes comes from Margaret Mead, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has."
If each of us do our part individually, then collectively we can accomplish just about anything, including saving the environment we all need to live, breathe and be well.
So, what is your impact? How many Earth's does your lifestyle require? What changes are you going to start making? If not for yourself, then do it for your children and the generations that come next. If you are wondering how you can lower your impact on the earth, check out our previous blog on living lighter on Mother Earth.