[image-1]TGN's website explains how the Ecological Footprint works in basic terms. It examines the benefits of ecological accounting, introduces some of the most important Footprint findings, and addresses provocative questions: Do we fit on the planet? How can the Footprint foster sustainable human development? How do carbon emissions contribute to humanitys Ecological Footprint? The organization was created in 2003, "established to enable a sustainable future where all people have the opportunity to live satisfying lives within the means of one planet."
Using scientific data, they've calculated the ecological impacts of humanity on Earth, including data for each individual country. Now they're on a mission to educate people on sustainability so we can tread lighter on the planet. Working in 200 cities in 23 nations, GFN is taking the information they've gathered and applied it to practical projects, sparking a global dialogue on how we can work together as a planet to change our ways.
[image-2]The site also offers a Footprint Calculator, an interactive, fun way for people to learn how many planets it would take to sustain their lifestyles. You get to create a digital avatar of yourself and then answer questions about how much food, energy, etc. you consume. It then takes the data and calculates it to tell your personal Ecological Footprint, giving you charts picturing how much it actually takes to support your lifestyle. If you're feeling especially guilty after seeing your results, it gives you the option of exploring different scenarios of what you can do differently to reduce your footprint. As my data shows (pictured below), my energy consumption is what I need to work on (i.e.: recycling more often, using public transportation, etc.).
Check out the site to learn your personal Ecological Footprint, what you can do to reduce it, and to learn more about The Global Footprint Network's projects.