The ecological footprint is a measure of human demand on the Earth’s ecosystems. An ecological footprint is a standard measurement of a unit’s influence on its habitat based on consumption and pollution. It compares human demand with planet Earths’s ecological capacity to regenerate.

Think of it this way: every human activity consumes resources from the planet and produces waste that the planet must then deal with. We can even measure how close we are to a sustainable society. This is where the Ecological Footprint has a major role to play. In fact, we are all bound to our planet’s environment and natural resources through our Ecological Footprint.

Using this assessment, it is possible to estimate how much of the Earth (or how many planet Earths) it would take to support humanity if everybody lived a given lifestyle. For 2006, humanity’s total ecological footprint was estimated at 1.4 planet Earths – in other words, humanity uses ecological services 1.4 times as fast as Earth can renew them.Every year, this number is recalculated — with a three year lag due to the time it takes for the UN to collect and publish all the underlying statistics.

By exploring Ecological Footprints, you can find out about what Australia’s Footprint looks like in comparison to the rest of the world, and how you can calculate your own Ecological Footprint (or that of your home, office, school, retail, or event). You can also learn more about how the Ecological Footprint has come about, how it works, how it has been used locally, and get linked to the broader Footprint community around the world.

Calculate Your Own Ecological Footprint

You can join in the fun by calculating your own Ecological Footprint to see if you are treading lightly on the earth or leaving big heavy footprints in your wake! You can identify where you are having the most impact upon the earth and take actions to minimise these impacts and reduce the size of your footprint.

To calculate your footprint, go to:

Australia has one of the largest ecological footprints per capita in the world, go to:

Mosman Council’s tips and examples towards reducing it’s communities Ecological Footprints, go to:

See what SHOROC Councils are doing towards Regional Sustainability, go to: