Greetings, my fellow Lebanese. It’s your friendly Green Patriot.

It is time to discuss a concept that a lot of people are not quite familiar with; ecological footprints. The ecological footprint is a measure of human demand on the Earth’s resources, and is based on the influence of consumption and pollution on one’s natural habitat. It then compares this human impact with the planet’s capacity to regenerate. The data is given in global hectares per capita; Earth’s resources per person. If a country does not have enough ecological resources within its own land, then there is a local ecological deficit.

In 2006, the world average ecological footprint was 1.4, meaning that people were using resources so fast that it would take 1.4 “earths” to sustain them safely. This causes harm to our planet worldwide. However, for Lebanon, it was worse. In 2005, our biocapacity was at 0.6, but we were at 3.0 in terms of our ecological footprint! Meaning we were consuming and polluting almost six times as much as our country can sustain! This graph is taken from the Footprint Network:

 

It has since gotten worse. This is a critical situation. For our own sake and for the sake of our country, this trend needs to be reversed. Luckily, there are ways to do so. Firstly, there are ways that we have already discussed: using renewable energy sources, reducing our waste, reusing existing materials when we can, recycling, and avoiding littering. Fortunately, there is an interactive tool that can help you discover what your personal ecological footprint is, and how you can help reduce it. In doing so, not only will you be helping your environment, but helping your country as well. Follow this link to find out your personal ecological footprint, find out what sources you use the most, and figure out how you can reduce them and still live well. http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/page/personal_footprint/

My fellow Lebanese, it is time for us to act. For us to help the country and by that same token, help ourselves. We can do it!

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