WWF “One Planet Living” Campaign

wwf-footprint.jpg
Fresh from slagging off the Worldwide Fund For Nature for their hypocritical approach towards waste and recycling, it seemed only fair to give them a bit of credit for some of the good work they do. As part of their ‘One Planet Living‘ campaign, WWF have revived the idea of the ecological footprint, which gives an indication of the extent to which individual lifestyles have exceeded the planet’s carrying capacity. In recent years, our obsession with greenhouse gases and climate change has seen the ecological footprint go right out of fashion, replaced by the carbon footprint, which isn’t really a relative footprint at all, but an absolute measure of our individual emissions.

At footprint.wwf.org.uk you can measure your own ecological footprint by answering searching questions about things like your eating and travel habits, and whether you insulate your house. Like most such questionnaires, the multiple-choice categories are pretty vague, and the results are probably not particularly accurate. However, what this kind of footprinting can do is remind us that we all have a share of just the one planet, which can get overlooked when our consumption is measured purely in terms of tons of CO2. It also emphasises that carbon emissions are far from the only measure of sustainability. What use having a zero carbon ‘footprint’ if half the planet was trashed just to grow the ‘sustainable’ fuels for my energy needs? What about water? Or biodiversity?

It’s not just about carbon, stupid.

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This entry was posted in Climate change, Economics, Energy, Food & Agriculture, People, Pollution, Population, Recycling, Sustainablity, Technology, Transport, Waste, Water, Wildlife. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to WWF “One Planet Living” Campaign

  1. matt says:

    5.21 tonnes; is that your footprint Pete?

    Yes, there is an obsessive focus on carbon.

    I keep visualizing the sea of plastic rubbish off California’s coast! (Having said that, I’ve just thrown a plastic container into the bin. Why don’t councils allow plastics recycling for other items other than bottles? I smell a scandal that needs blogging ….. 🙂 ).

  2. Pete Smith says:

    5.21 tonnes is my carbon footprint (allegedly). I guess the main culprit is our holiday in Fuerteventura at Easter (first flight for two years, he said hurriedly 😎 ).
    My ecological footprint is 1.48, i.e. if everyone lived like me we’d need another half a planet.
    One day I’ll do a comparison of all the footprint tools.

  3. Pete Smith says:

    The daft thing with the plastic recycling is that they’ll take any kind of bottle, made of any kind of plastic. But a plastic box made of the same stuff as a milk bottle is unacceptable.
    It must all come down to who they contract out the work to, and what processing facilities they have. First consideration would be cost (I’m guessing) followed by location and capacity.

  4. matt says:

    I think we need to start video reports.

    Lets see if one of us has a video that’s modern enough to upload to youtube. Then we can put our visual reports up on this blog.

    What to report on? We could start off with, ‘Why won’t my council recycle plastic food trays?’

    Gripping stuff I know! But who knows…. we could end up becoming the new Al Gore. And I know how much you want that Pete. 🙂

  5. Pete Smith says:

    He’s about my size.

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