Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Footprints – are yours too big?

A footprint is the mark we leave behind – a sign that we were here.

WB Yeats said, “Tread lightly because you tread on my dreams.”

The future is a dream, a possibility that is created by our actions now. We need to be intentional if we are to build the future we want, if we are to bring dreams to reality.

A bright future is not our birthright, it is just one of the many alternatives that lie in front of us and our children.

Gemma's book will be published in April

Gemma Sisia grew up with the glimmer of hope that she might live her life in Africa and contribute towards breaking the cycle of enduring poverty. She took steps into the unknown, unsure how to bring this dream to reality. Now, she find that she is living the reality in Tanzania and, with the help of world-wide hundreds of people, her footprint will be large and confident.

An environmental footprint describes how much land is required to maintain a lifestyle. People who live very simply require very few resources and their environmental footprint is small. People in the affluent West, who have plenty of food, good transport and leisure for holidays leave large footprints.

When we add up all the environmental footprints – the too-small footprints of the millions living in extreme poverty, and the too-big footprints of the millions living in comfort – we can see how much of the Earth’s resources are being used.

What if everyone lived your lifestyle? Is the planet big enough to support everyone?

You can check out the size of your footprint at Ecofoot. Their handy gadget will do the calculations for you and show how many global hectacres are needed to sustain your lifestyle. And how many planets would we need if everyone lived like you do.

Some things will need to change if we are to bring about a bright future for all of us.

I think I’ll start today, with one small thing. I’ll leave the car at home.

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