The Ecological Footprint Quiz, created
by Redefining Progress and launched in conjunction with Earth Day
Network, is a scientifically-based tool that allows individuals
to calculate the amount of biologically productive land and sea
area needed to produce the resources they use and absorb the wastes
they produce. The Ecological Footprint measurement is also used
to assess the impact of communities, nations and the world as a
whole. The quick and easy 15-question Footprint Quiz can be found
Currently, the Footprint Quiz is available for 58 countries, ranging
from the U.S. to Nigeria, and can be accessed in English, French,
Spanish and German. It will soon be available in additional languages.
The average American uses 24 global acres to support his or her
current lifestyle. This corresponds to the size of 24 football fields
(without their end zones) put together. In comparison, the average
Canadian lives on a Footprint 30 percent less, and the average Italian
on a Footprint 60 percent less than the average American.
Footprint results are calculated in global acres. Each
of those acres corresponds to one acre of biologically productive
space with world average productivity. Today, there are 4.5 global
acres of biologically productive space available per person on the
earth. In contrast, the global average footprint size is 5.6 global
acres per person, a figure over 25 percent higher than the earths
If everyone lived like the average American, we would need
5.3 planets to support us, noted Michel Gelobter, executive
director of Redefining Progress.
According to Kathleen Rogers, president of Earth Day Network, this
is rock solid evidence of what I call the six and 60
problem we must tackle. The United States has just six percent of
the worlds population yet consumes 60 percent of its resources.
This is a formula for disaster. The answer is actually startling
simple: when millions of people take a small action to improve the
Earth, we get a very large solution.
Earth Day Network and Redefining Progress are launching a worldwide
campaign to have individuals take the Ecological Footprint Quiz.
The submitted results will be compiled and the findings will be
presented to world leaders at the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable
Development in Johannesburg, South Africa.
For the first time, world leaders will have a crystal clear
picture of the immense imbalance between what we take from the earth
and whats available to support us, said Rogers. The
Johannesburg Summit will be the place and time for past promises
to become tomorrows actions and the footprints of millions
can lead the way for world leaders, she added.
We are eroding the planets natural capital on which
we depend Gelobter said. In business, drawing down assets
to finance ongoing operations is recognized as a strategy that ultimately
weakens an enterprise. The same is true for the planet.