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Ecological footprints

Mullumbimby Sustainable Street participants enjoying garden produce

Ecological foot-printing is a simple way to estimate the impact of any person's way of life on the planet's resources. An eco-footprint takes into account the amount of land required to produce and supply all of the resources we need to support our lifestyles, including food, energy and transport, as well as the area needed to assimilate all the waste we generate. According to WWF Living Planet Report 2006, the average Australian's ecological footprint is 6.6 hectares per person. This is 3 times the average global footprint of 2.2 hectares per person.
Under the Sustainable Streets project, the North Coast Climate Action Group has assisted local residents Sharon and Jane from Stuart Street, Mullumbimby calculate their ecological impact. At the beginning of the project, Jane, Sharon and her two sons had an ecological footprint of 3.7 hectares each; meaning that if everyone lived like Sharon and Jane it would take two planets to sustain us. The household have dedicated the majority of their suburban block to growing edible gardens, with a chook pen and composting to help provide their own needs. The installation of a rainwater tank, 2 Kw solar power system, solar hot water system, bulk insulation and use of a thermal cooker will help reduce their ecological footprint further.

A second family in New City Road, Mullumbimby have put their hand up to embark on a journey to lower their footprints also. Mike and Tanya started with a 4.8 hectare measurement.

Stay tuned to keep track of these Mullumbimby families and their ecological footprint journey!

For more information on ecological sustainability or to calculate your own ecological footprint, visit: