Der "Ökologische Fussabdruck" – was ist das? - NIKIN EU

The “Ecological Footprint” – what is it?

The “ecological footprint” is a very current term and yet many people don’t know what the impact of their own lifestyle is on the earth. Some everyday habits are among the biggest factors that accelerate climate change. But what actually is the “Ecological Footprint”?

The “ecological footprint” is a very current term and yet many people don’t know what the impact of their own lifestyle is on the earth. Some everyday habits are among the biggest factors that accelerate climate change. But what actually is the “ecological footprint”?

Ecological Footprint

The western industrialized nations, but also emerging countries such as China and India, are among the biggest climate sinners. The unrestrained overexploitation of the planet's natural resources ensures that climate change and its consequences will soon be irreversible - if they are not already. We don't have a planet B. That's why we at NIKIN want to help in every way we can to raise awareness of what we can do to protect our environment. Each and every one of us.

But how can you live in a way that protects the earth's ecosystem? And can it be measured whether you really live sustainably? Yes, you can. This is what we call the “ecological footprint”!

What is the “Ecological Footprint”?

In English it is called Ecological Footprint - meaning the biologically productive area that is required to maintain a person's standard of living. This includes not only the supply of food and water, but also the provision of energy, the carbon dioxide released directly or indirectly by this person and also the disposal of waste. This required area is compared with the area available worldwide or regionally, measured by the number of inhabitants. The concept of the ecological footprint is not new - it was developed in 1994, and there has been a real Global Footprint Network since 2003. The protection of our planet is actively supported by well-known researchers and Nobel Prize winners! 

How the “Ecological Footprint” is calculated

The ecological footprint can be calculated based on a person's lifestyle. Basically, it's about how much usable space would be necessary to continue to maintain the lifestyle that the person in question is used to. This is contrasted with the actually available and biologically usable area - i.e. the earth's surface, minus built-up regions, but also deserts, ice surfaces or mountains.

If you want to take the trouble to calculate your own ecological footprint, you can do so: there is a real footprint calculator online for this. Just answer the questions and then be amazed. Because despite all our mindfulness, even the most environmentally conscious of us usually still has room for improvement.

How big are our footprints?

Anyone who looks at the average ecological footprint on the world's continents quickly realizes that the real climate sinners are North Americans. Their footprint is larger than 8 - a really drastic value and still twice as much as in Europe, where people still live on a fairly large footprint. At least ecologically.

People in Africa, on the other hand, live almost exemplary lives, with an ecological footprint of 1.4. No wonder, as many Africans still live traditionally and sustainably. Unfortunately, this way of life is under serious threat. Because many people in Africa can no longer and do not want to live in the traditional way. Drought, unrest, but also new consumption patterns are changing behavior here and will ensure that Africans will soon appear “one size larger”.

How can you reduce your own ecological footprint?

Each of us can significantly reduce our ecological footprint in various ways. A lot of it isn't difficult at all and will soon become routine.

  • Use less energy! Switch off electrical appliances correctly and do not leave them running unnecessarily.
  • Always use energy-saving lamps for lamps. A huge amount of electricity can be saved here.
  • Separate waste carefully – and create less waste in the first place.
  • Shopping regionally and freshly helps save long transport routes and therefore energy consumption. It also helps local producers!
  • Leave the car behind and instead walk more or take out your bike. And as for air travel. As painful as it is, they really hit it!
  • Consume less, recycle more - only buy sustainable and fair clothing and equipment or even buy second hand and use your own things for a really long time instead of replacing them with the latest model every year.

    These are just a few examples that quickly make it clear how many options there are to live on a smaller scale. Because up to now we are all still sinning far too much.

    Who are the biggest climate sinners?

    What hardly anyone realizes in view of the debate about exhaust gases and CO2 emissions from cars: there are much bigger climate sinners (without wanting to take a stand for all the SUVs on European roads). Global meat production in particular is a crime against the global climate. Large herds of cattle require pasture and feed. In order to provide this, forest land is cut down and soy is grown instead. Added to this are the digestive gases released by cattle, which significantly increase the world's CO2 emissions. It is therefore worth thinking about your own meat consumption, minimizing it and consuming it consciously and, if possible, only locally.

    But the production of biofuel, for example from rapeseed or soy, also falls under this category, and for similar reasons. 

    It has to be different. And now!

    The truth is - and you have to make this clear to yourself - that there is no way around a little sacrifice. We all lived very well for a very long time - and beyond our means. Now the bill is presented. If we fail to change our lifestyles, we will not be able to be accountable to our children and grandchildren.

    We at NIKIN therefore strive not only privately but also with our project to ensure that the earth remains as beautiful and worth living in as it still is. With every purchase you make from us, you donate to planting a tree through our partner OneTreePlanted. This won't change the world overnight - but it's a start. And you're there!

    Back to the blog

    Leave a comment

    Please note that comments must be approved before publication.