How many times have you heard „We need to act ecologically”? Or that our planet is in danger? Probably many times. But how many times have you actually listened to what is happening around us? Probably not that many times. As climate change is one of today’s main concerns, my paper is trying to raise awareness and provide some brief information on this major topic.
In the first part of this article I am going to explain what is ecology, why it is so important and what could happen if we ignore it while in the second part I will be focusing on the notion of eco footprint.
This is the first article from a series whose subject is global warming and related subjects. The text is based on personal notes as well as official references.
So, what is ecology? The official definition would be „the branch of biology dealing with the relations and interactions between organisms and their environment, including other organisms”. Another way of putting it would be “advocacy for the protection of natural resources from pollution or its effects; environmentalism”. Ecology is a rather modern word and was first used in 1896. Coined by the zoologist Ernst Haeckel, the term comes from the Greek Okios, which means house. Ecology has then given birth to other terms such as ecological and eco footprint.
Now that we know what it means and where it comes from, another question arises: why is it important? Ecology is important for our comfort. We can learn from the relationship of humans and nature facts that are vital for food production, maintaining clean air and water, and defending biology from the constantly changing climate. Ecology also provides us with the essential basis for nature conservation. For example, heathland is a landscape that is fast disappearing throughout much of Western Europe, but some studies have helped identify how to preserve its ecological characteristics. The most important contribution it can bring is that it aids to improve our environment.
What will happen if we ignore ecology and fail to take action? The main problem would be the aggravation of global warming, which would in its turn give rise to other issues, in opposition to all the positive facts that I mentioned before.
As for the ecological footprint, “it measures the ecological assets that a given population requires to produce the natural resources it consumes”. It has six categories of productivity: cropland, gazing land, fishing grounds, built up land, forest area and especially carbon emissions.
Each of us have our own eco footprint and there are numerous quizzes you can take to calculate yours; I highly recommend you to try some of them.  If your eco footprint is very high, you should probably reduce it as there are numerous negative aspects that could arise if a large number of people have a big ecological footprint, similar to the ones caused by the ignorance of ecology. What’s more, our resources will eventually come to an end if we do not start taking measures at once.
Therefore, what can you do to reduce your eco footprint? First of all, try to reduce the quantity of your single-use products. Next, you should try to limit your use of plastic, water and waste in general. Recycling is important as well. Another important thing would be to use greener forms of transport and consume less animal products.
It is vital to know what ecology is and what part it plays in our lives as much as it is to learn about your ecological footprint and how to minimize it. These are the first steps to being aware of and trying to prevent global warming.
Reducing the ecologic footprint starts with each of us. It is important to remember that even if you are the only one doing it, there will be others joining after a while. Never underestimate the power of personal example and join the fight for a greener and cleaner environment for all of us!