An ecological footprint is one of several tools that may be used to illustrate the pressure placed on the environment by our production and consumption of natural resources.
An ecological footprint estimates the amount of productive land and sea area that is required to support the lifestyle of a particular population (for example, a country, region or household). This includes the land needed to produce food and fibre and other goods and services, and to support infrastructure and housing. It also includes the area of land that is needed to absorb carbon dioxide emissions.
Although the Ministry for the Environment does not endorse any particular online ecological footprint calculator, there are a number of online calculators available (although not necessarily specific to New Zealand). For example:
There are also carbon footprint calculators available on Landcare Research's website.
Last updated: 24 June 2009