By Megan Leonard
An ecological footprint is the amount of biologically productive land and water needed to indefinitely supply the people in a country or area with renewable resources. Scientist say the world is exceeding this by 30%. In the United States, scientists say we are exceeding the ecological footprint by 88%.
One way to help with this issue is for each person to check their ecological footprint. In calculating a ecological footprint, an attempt is made to determine the area of productive space that is required to support activities that are part of that person’s habit overall. This influences the amount of land or water area that is needed to maintain a person’s individual lifestyle, or in other words, putting a number behind your effect on the world around you.
Ryan Welch, math/science instructor at Clinton Community College, has his environmental science students calculate their own ecological footprint, giving students an idea on how they are affecting their renewable resources in the Clinton community. Welch said, “We don’t realize what effect we have in our day to day lives: choices we make like cooking a meal, what’s in the meal, to paper products we use and what car we drive.”
Welch has his students ask themselves about their food consumption. Meats, dairy, fast food, and other snacks can affect a footprint. Students then answer questions about their personal housing, the