The Ecological Footprint
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The Ecological Footprint. By Chantal, Katharina, Johanna and Patrick Ostendorf-Gymnasium Lippstadt Germany. What is an ecological footprint?. Our ‘footprint’ or impact on the Earth’s ecosystems

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The Ecological Footprint

By Chantal, Katharina, Johanna and Patrick

Ostendorf-Gymnasium Lippstadt


What is an ecological footprint?

  • Our ‘footprint’ or impact on the Earth’s ecosystems

  • Tells us whether we are using our resources faster than our planet can regenerate them and if we are using them correctly

  • Aims to achieve a world where all people have a satisfying life for which the environment does not have to pay for

How is an ecological footprint calculated?

  • Measures:

    1. Land and sea area needed to produce the resources we consume (food, clothes, fuel, building materials etc.)

    2. How much land and water is needed to deal with the waste we produce through our consumption (e.g. CO2 and rubbish)

    3. Carbon footprint: all carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases emitted from our products and activities

Why is the ecological footprint so important?

  • Shows us how badly we are damaging our planet

  • Current status: over-consumption or ‘overshoot’

    • Overusing natural resources (forests, fisheries etc.)

    • Not sustainable for long-term: we will run out of resources eventually

    • Clearly demonstrates ecological limits

  • To maintain our current lifestyle we would need at least three planet Earths to support us!

Question 1:

What best describes your diet?

What best describes your diet?










top ot the

chain food











top ot the

chain food


Question 2:

How often do you select food that is certified organic?

Question 3:

What kind of food is available at your school?

Question 4:

What do you use to bring food from home to school?

Question 5:

How often do you buy new things to replace old ones?

(eg. Computer,mobile phone)

Question 6:

How much time do you spend using electronic devices?

(eg. TV, Ipod, computer)

How can you reduce your ecological footprint?

  • Reduce your waste (food, toiletries, electronic products etc.)

  • Buy locally produced organic food as much as possible

  • Try growing your own fruit, vegetables and herbs

  • Switch to a vegetarian diet – doing this just twice a week can reduce your footprint!

  • Make your home energy efficient (insulation, energy-saving globes, solar power, water tank etc.)

  • Turn down your thermostat (even just 1 degree helps)

How can you reduce your ecological footprint (cont.)?

  • Don’t drive if there is an alternative – use public transport, cycle or walk as much as possible (remember this is good for your health too – another benefit!)

  • If a car is necessary it should be a small one that is fuel efficient or electric and always try to reduce your mileage

  • Instead of flying, go on holidays within your own country and go by train instead of plane within Europe

  • Instead of buying new things all the time buy them second-hand or even just borrow them

  • Recycle everything