Lab: Tuesday PM – Leah March 3rd, 2013
Use of Ecological Footprinting to Determine Sustainability
“The ecological footprint (EF) has reached worldwide popularity in the last decade as an interesting environmental indicator, and its applications have been extended to different fields” (Herva et al, 2012). Due to the increase of the human population and activity, society is falling into a path of unsustainably rather then sustainability which is what should be aimed for (Hay, L., Duffy, A. and Whitfield, R.I. 2014). The tool that is used to promote awareness about the harm and impact humans are having on the environment is the use of the ecological footprint. The ecological footprint is “An indicator founded on the carrying capacity concept” (Herva et al, 2012). In other words, ecological footprinting is the determination of land area required to absorb emissions and waste. An ecological footprint is determined based on electricity usage, fuel consumption, dietary choices, travel, and many other things. “The EF has reached worldwide popularity in the last decade and its applications have been extended to different fields, as it is the case of the environmental evaluation of production processes and products” (Herva et al, 2012). It can be measured in many different fields, such as earlier mentioned. For example an ecological footprint is determined based on electricity usage, fuel consumption, dietary choices, travel, and many other things. These are measured separately and certain things will be measured by severity, which will depend on its consumption. Ecological footprinting has become an essential tool and technique often used in today’s society. It is used as a tool that is crucial to the sustainability of the environment. Ecological footpriniting offers in depth information about consumption and production, to access the impact humans can have on the earth. This is easily calculated to decide what amount of land will counteract the impact. Ecological...
References: Galli, A., Wiedmann, T., Ercin, E., Knoblauch, D., Ewing, B., Giljum, S. 2012. Integrating ecological, carbon and water footprint into a “footprint family” of indicators: Definition and role in tracking human pressure on the planet. Ecol. Ind. 16 : 100-12.
Hay, L., Duffy, A. and Whitfield, R.I. 2014. The sustainability cycle and loop: Models for a more unified understanding of sustainability . J. Environ. Manag. 133 : 232–257.
Herva, M., García-Diéguez C., Franco-Uría, A., Roca, E. 2012. New insights on ecological footprinting as environmental indicator for production processes. Ecol. Ind. 16 : 84-90.
Hopton, M.E. and White, D. 2012. A simplified ecological footprint at a regional scale. J. Environ. Manage. 111 : 279-86.
Kharrazi, A., Kraines, S., Hoang, L., Yarime, M. 2014. Advancing quantification methods of sustainability: A critical examination emergy, exergy, ecological footprint, and ecological information-based approaches. Ecol. Ind. 37 , Part A: 81-9.
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