A report from the ACT Office of the Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment (OCSE) has found the lifestyles of the people of Canberra are consuming more of the earth’s natural resources than they were ten years ago.
The “2008-2009 Ecological Footprint for the ACT” which was prepared by Dr Chris Dey of the University of Sydney’s Integrated Sustainability Analysis research group, on behalf of the OCSE, reveals a steady increase in the amount of natural resources required to meet the lifestyle needs of Canberrans.
The Ecological Footprint, expressed in global hectares, measures the amount of land required to support a communitys’ demand for goods and services, shelter, transport, food and energy. It also takes into account the area needed to absorb our waste (including greenhouse gasses).
In 2008-2009, the average Canberran consumed 9.2 global hectares, 8% higher than 5 years ago and almost 25% higher than 10 years ago. The current Ecological Footprint was 13% above the national average.
The Ecological Footprint is a measure that helps us understand the link between lifestyles and our world’s resources
Steps that Canberrans can take to ease the pressure on our earth include:
- Repair, reuse or borrow where possible instead of buying new things.
- Before tossing something in the bin, see if there is another use for it.
- Buy quality goods that are efficient and will last a long time.
- Invest in an activity as an alternative to purchasing goods, e.g Concerts, movies, picnics
- Use renewable energy
Canberrans are being asked to provide comments and suggestions on how to reduce their footprint to the Office that will be included in the State of the Environment Report for 2011.
The full report can be found at www.envcomm.act.gov.au