How to measure the environmental impact of your home

Two popular methods of measuring your home’s ecological impact are the Ecological Footprint (EF) and the Household Carbon Footprint (HCF).

Ecological Footprint (EF) – The EF has emerged as a leading measure of humanity’s (and your personal) demand on nature. It measures how much land and water area a human population requires to produce the resources it consumes and to absorb its wastes, using prevailing technology. Your EF is broken into Consumption Categories and Biomes.

• Consumption Categories – Consumption Categories show where you consume resources and generate waste. The categories include Carbon Footprint, Food Footprint, Housing Footprint and Goods & Services Footprint. This is usually represented in a percentage breakdown, all categories together adding up to 100%.

• Biomes – Biomes describe how many ‘global acres’ are required to support your lifestyle. Biomes include energy land, crop land, grazing land, forest land, built-up land and fishing grounds.

There are many EF assessment tools available online that can help you determine the EF of your home.

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