Why do we need natural resources?
The Earth's natural resources are essential to the survival of every human being. Natural resources touch every aspect of our daily lives - food, water, electricity, clothing, transportation and more. These resources are precious; they are the wealth of our planet to be shared by all its inhabitants. If we consume more of these resources than can be regenerated by nature, there will no longer be enough to go around. It is so important to use natural resources wisely, not wastefully.
What is the Ecological Footprint?
The Ecological Footprint is a tool which helps us measure how much of the Earth's natural resources we are consuming. The Footprint measures everything that we eat, use and consume and it also measures the resources needed to absorb our waste products, like the carbon dioxide emissions produced from burning fossil fuels.
The Ecological Footprint works like a balance sheet, comparing the total amount of resources used by humans with the total resources available on the Earth. From studying this balance sheet, we can see how much of which resources people in different countries are using.
Our Current Situation
Unfortunately, the situation right now is not very good. Since the 1970s humanity has been using more resources than the Earth can regenerate. Currently it takes 1.5 years for Earth to regenerate a year's worth of resources consumed by human beings. The situation is even more severe in Hong Kong. We have a fast-paced and convenient lifestyle, but Hong Kong people may not be aware that we are now living beyond the Earth’s limits. If everyone on Earth lived the same lifestyle as us, we would need 3.1 Earths to supply our resources. If we do not take action to change our way of living, we may literally drain nature's resources dry in the future.
What can we do?
We must remember that there is only one Earth. At the same time, little changes in our daily lifestyles can make a big difference. Reduce your personal Ecological Footprint today by adopting a sustainable lifestyle. Taking care of nature and helping the natural world recover is the best policy for all of us, and for future generations. Are you willing to play your part to help our living planet?