Sunday, 27 December 2009

One planet living

I calculated my consumption ecological footprint for 2009, as I've been doing since 2001. I now have a sustainable lifestyle! That is, I use 70-88% of the bioproductive land there is if you divide all bioproductive land equally over the 6.5 billion human beings (, and leave the other 12-30% for biodiversity, which corresponds to low and medium estimates of what is thought to be needed). I give a range because I'm not sure how to budget my garden: do I include it all as average UK arable land, or do I count my organic garden as biodiversity land as my calculator says I should be doing. While digging up the Jerusalem artichokes I did also dig up a frog and what looked like a salamander to me, so there is at least something in the latter, but I'm also convinced that I still disturb the land at least to some extent. And then I haven't yet addressed all the other sources of uncertainty in my calculator. But there you go, this is the result and it might be an overestimate as well as an underestimate. So, how did I get there? I've written about that in slightly more detail here, but let me give the summary: 80 grams of waste per week, heating my home with wood I collect by hand in the wood next to my garden, since July growing all my fruit and vegetables (I expect to buy veg in the hungry gap of 2010 and 2011), daily travel by bicycle, 6200 km of train travel in 2009. I'm really, really pleased, as this means that if everybody in the world lived like this (quantitatively speaking that is, qualitatively speaking there is still lots of room for different life choices) there would be no global warming, no destruction of the Amazon, etc.

So, what's next? To achieve a sustainable production ecological footprint. Although UEA is moving in the right direction, there is some way to go yet.

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