Environmental preservation, ecological living, green design, global warming... Concern about the enviroment is graduately getting more and more attention. And rightly so, I must say. And I know I am no saint in living green, but I try to do what I can. But how do you measure whether you're being green or not? Well, the most widely-used method is the so-called ecological footprint. The way it works is that the total amount of gross land and maritime area one person needs to produce, consume and absorb waste is calculated.
In case you are wondering: the world-wide average is 1.8 global hectares. The thing is that, if you take into account the amount of people on the world, there are resources for 1.3 gha per capita.
To give you an example: the average in the USA is roughly 9.5 gha, and China has an average ecological footprint of 1.6 gha.
And then you need to imagine that a country like China is rapidly increasing their level of consumption - aiming to reach the American level of consumption a.s.a.p.. Basically: we are consuming our world to death.
I don't want to be moralizing or anything, just see for yourself what you do with this information (in case you didn't know it already). To get an idea of your own level of consumption - expressed in an ecological footprint: there are numerous websites that can calculate an estimation for you. Myfootprint.org is a good example. And for some more information on ecological footprints, you might check out the Global Footprint Network.