How Can We Reduce our Ecological Footprint?
Ecological footprint is a concept created by Mathis Wackernagel and William Rees in the 1990s to calculate ecological balance. This concept examines the supply-demand balance between nature and human, and calculates the ratio between the rate of human consumption and the rate of self-renewal of nature. The global hectare (gha / kha) concept is used as the unit of calculation of the ecological footprint.
Natural resources are not as endless as one might think. Over the years, human activities such as population growth, industrialization and technological developments have affected consumption, and the depletion of natural resources faster than renewable has created a problem for ecological balance.
According to the ecological footprint calculation of Global Footprint Network, if all the people in the world would consume as much as a Turkish citizen, humanity would need a total of 1.5 planets. Since all we have is one big planet, we must do our best to protect it and not exceed its biocapacity. Here are a few methods to reduce our ecological footprint, and take action towards a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle:
Reduce Plastic Waste Pollution
Şahika Ercümen, a freediver with records in Turkey and the world, recently collected trash from the Bosphorus in Istanbul. This should make us think about the plastic waste in our countries as well. We now know that plastic does not biodegrade for centuries. Therefore, polluting our environment with disposable products affects all our lives. We should especially not use single-use plastics as much as possible to help the ecosystem. In general, when we use plastics, it should be our goal to understand its kind and correctly recycle them.
U Green Clean is one of the brands that pay attention to the use of plastics, and aims to reduce waste. U Green Clean uses biodegradable ingredients in its plant-based cleaning products, and aims to protect the environment in general. All product packaging of the brand, which tries to reduce its ecological footprint, are made of recycled plastic.
Use Less Water
We need water to continue our lives, and yet water resources are not infinite. In the near future, a water crisis is predicted. In order to prevent this crisis, we should reduce our water footprint. We can take action in taking a shorter shower, washing vegetables and fruits in a large bowl instead of running water, preferring the dishwasher over washing things by hand. Of course, paying attention to fill the dishwasher before running it is equally important.
Eat Less Meat
Meat consumption damage the environment in many ways. This is related to the increase in animal agriculture and stock farming due to the demand for meat. Animal digestion, as well as manure production, increase greenhouse gas emissions globally. On top of this, deforestation in areas like the Amazon rainforest for livestock feed production worsens the situation. One of the things we can do in order not to harm the environment even more is to adopt a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, or at least reduce our meat consumption.