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ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT

Introduction

            Ecological footprint is the measure of biological productivity such as water or land that is able to ensure the population is sustainable. The measure focuses on resources that a population needs. In order to calculate the number of planets required to sustain humankind if everyone lived like me I would consider calculating my ecological footprint then figure out how many planet earth can sustain everyone if everyone lived like me. In a case whereby am growing corn and maize in my land, my land’s ecological footprint based on crop production can be calculated as follows,

                     EF = ΣTi/Yw x EQFi,

Whereby Ti is the annual measure of maize and corn tons than one consumes. Then Yw is what can be yielded yearly for sustenance of everyone. Finally the equivalent factor which is EQFi represents each product. Ecological footprint is measured in global hectares (gha) which is equated to the world’s average productivity (Network, 2018).

Let’s calculate the ecological footprint of your corn:

EFcorn = Tcorn/Ycorn x YFcorn x EQFcorn

EFcorn = (2 tons) / (8 tons/ha) * (1.28 wha/ha) * (2.52 gha/wha) = 0.81 gha

Now, let’s do the same for your maize:

EFmaize = (3 tons) / (10 tons/ha) * (1.28 wha/ha) * (2.52 gha/wha) = 0.97 gha

Therefore, the ecological footprint of growing your crops is:

0.97 gha + 0.81 gha = 1.78 gha

            As per the result what constitutes more to my footprint is maize production whereby it gives out 0.97gha as compared to corn which gives out 0.81gha. This implies that in order to grow the two crops in another planet I would need land equivalent to 1.78gha. In order for everyone to live like me it would mean that I decrease my ecological footprint through crop rotation whereby in one season I can plant one crop and in another season plant a different one(Network, 2018). Also some crops can be planted together such as beans and maize which usually complement each other. Another possible way to decrease my ecological footprint is by planting seeds closely to avoid wastage of too much land space (Wackernagel & Rees, 1998). If the total ecological footprint for one person’s crop growth is 1.78 gha then multiplied by the estimated total population of all people living the same way as me the result would be (7.7 billion) (1.78 gha)= 13.706gha. Therefore, if earth supports an average of 2.8 hectares per person we can divide this with the total footprint provided. 13.706/2.8= 4.895. Therefore the estimated number of planets that can sustain the 7.7 billion people if their crop production was like mine would be 4 planets earth.

Conclusion

            In summary, if everyone’s production was to resemble my land use then we would need 4planets like earth in order to sustain ourselves. Therefore, the four planets produce will be the world average hector which yields 13.706gha multiplied by 4.

Reference

Wackernagel, M., & Rees, W. (1998). Our ecological footprint: reducing human impact on the earth (Vol. 9). New Society Publishers.

Network, G. F. (2018). Ecological footprint. The Share Guide: The Holistic Health Magazine and Resource Directory.< http://www. shareguide. com/Ecological. html>(25 March 2008).

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