the environment

Of course no one likes to breathe in smog, but that's only a tiny part of the environment story.

Looking after the environment is much more fun (and better for you) than just shorter showers and trying to drive a bit less. Caring about the environment means a thoughtful approach to financial, environmental and social needs - so that they are in a balance. 

Imagine for a moment the earth's total amount of productive area of sea and land ... it’s a very big area.

Now picture how many people there are on our planet – its currently 7 billion, soon to be 9 ish billion.  This means we each have about 2.1 global hectares of area to meet each of our needs.  

To take any more than that means someone else would have that much less, which of course wouldn't be fair... it wouldn't be balanced.  The fact that you don’t know them or might never meet them doesn't change the idea of what is reasonable. 

The area that each of us needs to support our lifestyle is called our ecological footprint. To live sustainably, we can choose how we live - our energy, water, food, car, clothing, housing whatever -  as long as its less than this area.  Anything (goods, services, whatever) can be brought back to ecological footprint, even invisible things like energy.

This means that we can cut through greenwash and know what it really means to live sustainably.  

Some things make a big difference to our ecological footprint, others have only a minor effect. Still others such as growing food or generating electricity from a renewable source can help offset our ecological footprint.
For most of us, the thing that makes the biggest difference to each of our ecological footprint is the food you eat (which - no surprise - is also pretty close to the biggest health determinant too).  

After food, the next biggest depends on how and where you live, how you get around.  So while its hard to generalise, the place and the way in which we live is often the second largest determinant of ecological footprint.  

This is the bit that we want to share with you. 

The suburb you choose, the house you live in, the type of things you have good access to, the getting around options that you have are all part of your ‘place’.  The professionals like to call this the ‘built environment’ and it has an effect on you, your time, your wellbeing (some call these the ‘social determinants of health’) and of course your ecological footprint.

So this begs a few questions:
what types of places tend to have low ecological footprints?
what types of houses tend to have low ecological footprints? which people tend to have low ecological footprints?