Today starts the fourth week of lent and for those of you that are following my Lenten guide, this is the week that we focus on the brokenness of creation. I thought that this image from Adbusters was a very thought provoking one to begin our reflections. And to add more fuel to our thoughts here are some of the facts that we can reflect on during this week.
“In little more than nine months, humans have used up all that nature can replenish in one year, and for the rest of 2006 are destined to eat into the planet’s ecological capital.”
First if you have not taken your ecological footprint this is a good time to start. According to the Global Footprint Network, if everyone lived like Americans, we would need almost five and a half planets to sustain us. If we lived like Canadians or Australians or Brits we would need four planets to sustain us. Bangladesh has the lightest footprint—if we all lived at the level of the average Bangladeshi the earth would support 22 billion people.
It is not only our level of consumption that determines the ecological footprint, however. Italy’s eco-footprint is two-thirds that of other European countries, because Italians eat less processed food. Eating fresh rather than processed food (particularly processed meat and dairy) could immediately shrink your environmental footprint.
If every UK household installed 3 compact fluorescent light bulbs, enough energy would be saved in a year to supply all street lighting in the country. Five hundred billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are used worldwide each year, which is 150 bags for every person on earth.