What is Ecological Footprinting
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As we carry out our everyday activities, we use up natural resources. If we are using these up faster than they can be replenished, then we are living beyond our means and using the planet unsustainably.
An ecological footprint is the area of land and water needed to make the resources we consume and absorb the waste we produce as a result.
Footprints are measured in global hectares (gha). These measure the biological capacity of ecosystems to support our needs and absorb our wastes compared with the rate at which we use up these resources i.e. what we use compared to what is available.
As a city we need nearly 2.6 million global hectares or around 5.6 global hectares per person to sustain our lifestyle. This means that Edinburgh requires 3.2 planets to sustain our current lifestyle.