What is an ecological footprint?

An ecological footprint measures how much of the planet's resources you use, and converts this to the amount of land needed to provide the resources and assimilate your waste. It is measured in global hectares (a hectare is about the size of a soccer field). It includes:

* The amount of building materials you use in your home and workplace * The amount of water you use in your home, workplace and garden

* The fossil fuels (oil, coal, wood and natural gas) needed

* to provide the power to run your home and workplace

* to bring your food from all over the world

* to power your vehicles and transport * to carry away and dispose of your waste.

A recent study (October 2008) ranks the top ten countries with the highest ecological footprint per head as:

# United Arab Emirates # United States # Kuwait # Denmark # Australia # New Zealand # Canada # Norway # Estonia # Ireland.
It is what you leave behind such as a foot print at the park. Only in this place the foot print is the resources you use up during a life time.