What makes up Canada's ecological footprint?

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clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The "Ecological Footprint" of a nation is a system of measurement (devised by a man from British Columbia) which shows how much of the Earth's resources a given population uses compared to how fast the Earth can re-produce what is used.  Essentially, every nation's ecological footprint is "made up" of similar categories of measurement, including food consumption, energy consumption, transportation effects on the Earth (including emissions, as well as materials used to manufacture cars and make them run), water consumption, waste, etc.

In 2008, it was estimated that Canada was tied with Finland with approximately the 3rd highest ecological footprint, behind the US and the United Arab Emirates.  This means that Canada is using natural resources and turning them into waste at a much higher average than most of the globe.  It has also been estimated that it takes Earth one year and six months to re-produce what humans use in one year.  Canada is a high contributor to this.

Like every other globally "wealthy" country, Canada's consumption comes in the following categories, from greatest to least: food, housing, mobility, goods, then services.  Included in all of these categories is the use of natural energy and other concrete materials and the production of waste (both in energy as well as concrete materials).