How Large is Your Ecological Footprint & How Can You Reduce it?

ecological footprint South AfricaEradicating poverty is one of the main thrusts of the South African government.  The National Framework for Sustainable Development identifies how the wealthy are required to make adjustments if poverty is to be adequately addressed.  The footprint of the wealthy has to be dramatically reduced.

“Ecological footprinting” is an accounting tool that measures how much biologically productive land is required to support the living standards of an individual, a city or a country. This includes the land required to produce the physical resources consumed, absorb the wastes generated, and sequester CO2 emissions associated with energy demand.

It is estimated that  South Africa’s footprint is 4,02 hectares per person. The global “fair share” standard is 1.8 hectares per person, if we all live within the carrying capacity of the earth’s ecosystems.

South Africa needs the biologically productive resources of two planets to sustain the present lifesyle choices of its people.  The blanket statement conceals some uncomfortable inequities.

“A recent study of Cape Town found that the footprint of some of Cape Town’s richest suburbs were so large that 14 planets would be required if everyone lived like people in Camps Bay and Constantia – this is substantially higher than the average United States footprint which is 5.2 planets.

“The footprint of Cape Town’s middle class suburbs is 5 – 6 planets (similar to the United States average), and the footprint of the poor suburbs is 0.5 to 1 planet (similar to China and India).”

The National Framework for Sustainable Development concluded that it is “highly unlikely that there are sufficient resources to eradicate poverty by increasing the footprint of the poor if the footprint of the rich remains so large.”

Source: Chronicle (South Africa)

Watch this excellent  video explaining ecological footprint and how you can reduce yours (presented by the Emirates Wildlife Society WWF: United Arab Emirates- Ecological Footprint is the largest in the world):

Also see What is a carbon footprint? and GINK.

There are many ways of reducing your ecological and carbon footprints; embracing water conservation and renewable energy will substantially reduce your footprint.  People who can afford to install water saving devices and green energy systems such as solar panels and solar water heaters will find that not only will these systems save money in the long term but they will also be very useful in times of water supply cuts and power outages which are becoming more prevalent in our water scarce and energy hungry world.  It is not always financially possible to buy green systems for the home; start small by adopting water saving habits and reduce your energy consumption– these are free and save more money to boot.

Water Rhapsody Water Conservation Systems Mpumalanga offers water tank and rainwater tank installation, rainwater harvesting systems (see rainwater FAQ), grey water recycling  (see greywater FAQ) and water-saving devices for swimming pools and toilet flush systems (see product demo ).  Our WWF Award-winning water systems can be retrofitted or built into new buildings and can be adapted to small households or large business blocks, hospitals, schools, lodges & hotels.

Water Rhapsody has incorporated Yes Solar– official distributor of German-made Solsquare solar water heating systems that are installed by Eskom-accredited solar installers (our solar geysers are eligible for Eskom solar energy rebates).  We are authorized JoJo Water Tank dealers and Atlas Plastics water tank suppliers in Mpumalanga and Limpopo Province (best water tank prices in the Lowveld!).  We are also able to supply sanitary hardware such as waterless toilets through our JoJo Tanks and Atlas Plastics dealerships.

Contact us for a FREE QUOTE on a solar water geyser, water tank or rainwater/gray water system.  South Africa now has eco-friendly insurance– another way to go green, switch to green insurance cover and reduce your carbon footprint today!

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