How might these factors influence a person's ecological footprint: the country where they live, their socio-economic class, the province where they live, whether they are a rural or urban...

How might these factors influence a person's ecological footprint: the country where they live, their socio-economic class, the province where they live, whether they are a rural or urban person, and their values and attitudes? Thanks for your help!

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estoverl | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

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An ecological footprint is a measure of human’s demand on Earth’s resources. The ecological footprint represents the amount of Earth’s area that will be needed to replace resources used and to absorb human waste. Since the 1970s, humans have been annually using more than Earth can replace in a year. In measuring individual and group ecological footprints, we can make note of patterns and identify the human activity that is most impacting ecological footprints. From there, humans can begin to make changes that will reduce the impact of ecological footprints.

It is no secret that some countries push populations to live “green” lives, pushing eco-friendly energy, recycling, water conservation and other such activities that lessen the impact on ecological footprints. Depending on where you live, you may not have access to ways to improve ecological footprints such as green energy resources or free recycling.

Socioeconomic class can impact footprints due to the expense of some eco-friendly materials. Many eco-friendly choices like energy saving appliances can come with huge price tags. Additionally, healthier, unprocessed foods often cost more and become cost prohibitive to lower socio-economic classes.

The province in which you live, much like the country in which you live, may have different access to resources that enable people to live greener lives. Additionally, industry in certain areas impacts ecological footprints. For example the petroleum industry in Alberta, CA causes its footprint to be much higher.

Naturally if you live in a rural rather than an urban area, your footprint is likely to be smaller based on the lifestyle of the area. Large cities tend to have larger ecological footprints, more pollution, more vehicles and more human waste.

No matter a person’s physical living circumstances, values and attitudes will influence ecological footprints. People have to value the earth’s resources and have an attitude of caring in order to take the actions that will reduce ecological footprints.

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