Everyone leaves their own footprint. Whether it’s our choice of home or car, holiday destination or weekend menu plan – every decision we make has consequences for resource consumption. Our footprints can often be reduced using simple measures – if you know about them.
There are different ways of calculating your footprint. What all of the indicators have in common is that they consider the entire lifecycle of products and services. This is important because our consumption has an impact on the environment not only through the use of products and services, but also through the extraction of raw materials, transport, production and waste disposal.
The ecological footprint is the best known indicator for resource consumption. It constitutes a kind of global resource accounting system and has the advantage of expressing resource consumption in a clearly understandable number. The footprint measures the area that is needed to cover an individual’s resource requirements. Both the area required to produce food, clothing and energy and that needed to deal with the consequences of their consumption – for example to bind the CO2 released by the process – are taken into account in by the footprint. The Global Footprint Network, which calculates the footprint of countries, calculates that Switzerland uses about three times more resources per capita than available.
A person’s individual footprint can vary significantly from the average. For this reason it is useful to calculate your own resource consumption in global hectares. Footprint calculators are available here: