Ecological footprint (measuring ecological impacts)
Ecological footprint analysis is a spatial measure of the biologically productive land and water required to meet human needs. Two important variables are used in the analysis: 1) what it takes to meet the basic needs of a single person for food, fiber, shelter, and energy; and 2) the total global biological productivity in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.
It can be employed at the level of the individual, communities, nation, or planet. Comparisons can then be made between people and to global biological productivity per capita to illustrate ecological footprints at any scale.
(CC Image of global ecological footprint by Travelplannerbased on data from UN Development Programme and Global Footprint Network (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons).