Garden Worker — Connection between People and Nature
Because humans are on the top of the food chain, our activities have deep rooted and often permanent impacts on our planet. Individual effort, whether through the preservation of wild lands, or the simple act of responsibly tending a garden, makes a significant impact on nature.
The ecological footprint is a measure of human demand on the Earth's ecosystems. It is a standardized measure of demand for natural capital that may be contrasted with the planet's ecological capacity to regenerate. It represents the amount of biologically productive land and sea area necessary to supply the resources a human population consumes, and to assimilate associated waste. Using this assessment, it is possible to estimate how much of the Earth (or how many planet Earths) it would take to support humanity if everybody followed a given lifestyle. For 2007, humanity's total ecological footprint was estimated at 1.5 planet Earths – in other words, humanity uses ecological services 1.5 times as fast as Earth can renew them.Every year, this number is recalculated — with a three year lag due to the time it takes for the UN to collect and publish all the underlying statistics.
While the term ecological footprint is widely used, methods of calculation vary. However, standards are now emerging to make results more comparable and consistent.
The average world citizen has an eco-footprint of about 2.7 global average hectares while there are only 2.1 global hectares of bioproductive land and water per capita on earth. This means that humanity has already overshot global biocapacity by 30% and now lives unsustainably by depleting sticks of ‘natural capital’.
Sustainability: Sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations.
Sustainability is important to making sure that we have and will continue to have the water, materials, and resources to protect human health and our environment.