Ecological Footprint Quiz

How Many Planets Does It Take to Support Your Lifestyle?

Learn how eating seasonally can affect your ecological footprint.

Your ecological footprint is a measure of the amount of resources you personally need to support your lifestyle. These resources pertain to: how often you eat animal-based products, how much of the food is processed or locally grown, how much trash you generate, your housing type/size and if you have electricity and running water, how many people live in your household, and how much you travel by car, motorcycle, public transit, and plane.

Understanding your ecological footprint is crucial as your consumption levels directly impact the environment. This is because to fulfill the amount of consumption each and every human uses, an amount of land and sea are exhausted to produce the goods they use. As well as their amount of carbon emissions absorbed by the environment. Below is a chart that describes all the different impacts a person has on the environment.

So Why Does Eating Seasonally Affect Your Ecological Footprint?
Eating seasonally and/or locally, affects your ecological footprint because the produce grown is cultivated more efficiently, as in the amount of land and sea is being used more productively. Also, the type of land used is local, which means less fossil fuels are used as travel time is decreased to deliver produce. Additionally, less mechanical harvesting methods are used, which helps protect the produce and increases the amount of viable harvest and decreases the amount of produce wasted from damages.

What You Can Do:
Recycling may be the first idea that comes to mind, and while it is a good deed for the environment, it does not reduce the amount of land or sea used to support a person's lifestyle. This is also true for planting trees, it too is good for the environment as it provides more oxygen and absorbs carbon dioxide, but it still does not decrease the physical amount of land or sea used. However, here are 12 acts that CAN help you reduce your ecological footprint: 
  • Plan your meals
  • Shower less frequently
  • Wear clothes more than once
  • Hang your clothes to dry
  • Bring home less waste
  • Grow your own veggies & fruits
  • Make a windowsill herb garden
  • Have a yard sale
  • Use your car less
  • Invest in reusable bags
  • Dress in layers
  • Buy gently used clothing

To learn more about what each act can do to improve your ecological footprint, click here.

Interested in knowing your personal ecological footprint and environmental impact on earth? Go to Global Footprint Network, and take the quiz! Simply scroll down to the map on the page and select your location, and then click begin!