Science Focus Topic 3 Notes: Environmental Choices | Print |

Your Ecological Footprint

We depend on the environment and we are part of the environment.
Sustainability means that the resources from the environment can be replaced as quickly as they are used. Are we putting back what we take out, or, are we using up all the resources before they can be replaced?

Impact Here and There

To calculate your ecological footprint, you need to determine the total area of land that you use and water needed to supply all of the energy and materials that you use, as well as absorb all of the waste that you produce.

  • Materials that are included are: food, water, supplies to build shelter and raw materials needed to produce the manufactured products you use.

  • Energy includes: electricity, natural gas, as well as all the energy needed to produce, and transport all of the manufactured products you use


Large Ecological Footprint

Meeting the needs of the local village

3 R's - Trying to reduce our ecological footprint

Shopping at the local market

Too many 'wants'

The ecological footprint of average Canadians is very large, because they are using many more resources and creating much more waste than is sustainable.

Ways to reduce ecological footprint include:
1. Be aware of the products you consume in a typical day
2. Reduce the energy you use
3. Reduce the number of products you buy
4. Reduce the amount of garbage you produce

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Reduce Reuse and Recycle to lower your ecological footprint
Making The Connection

Better understanding the principle of sustainability will enable people to realize the impact their wants and needs have on the life of this fragile planet. The more knowledge we have about how our actions positively or negatively affect sustainability, the more often we will make choices that will sustain our natural resources.