Does your foot fit on this earth?
In our everyday life everybody needs food, clothing, energy, building materials and natural resources like air and water. All of these things are provided either directly or indirectly by nature and are not available in unlimited amounts. That is why in the 1990s the researchers Mathis Wackernagel and William Rees had the idea to measure how many resources each and every one of us needs and how much space we need to provide these resources in a sustainable manner. As a tool to do so they created the concept of the ecological footprint.
To measure the ecological footprint of a person at first one has to measure how much space and how many resources are available on our planet for every person. Currently the average space every person could use amounts to 1,8 ha. Then one has to measure how many resources are used by each person and how much space is needed to provide these resources in a sustainable manner. In the world average every person needs 2,7 ha which means that we would need 1,5 planets to live sustainably on this earth.
But every person and every country has a different ecological footprint. In China the average person uses 0.9 planets, in Bangladesh 0.3 planets and in the USA 6 planets. In Germany we would need 2.6 planets to support our lifestyle sustainably.
If you want to calculate if your foot fits on this earth or how many planets we would need if everyone had your lifestyle then go to www.footprintnetwork.org/de/index.php/GFN/page/calculators/.
How to minimize your ecological footprint in your everyday life you can research under http://wwf.panda.org/how_you_can_help/live_green/.