What is a Footprint?
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A Carbon Footprint is used to calculate our greenhouse gas emissions. It tells us how much carbon dioxide (C02) has been used to create a product (such as a piece of furniture), or an activity (such as heating our homes.) Often the term carbon footprint refers not only to C02, but other greenhouse gases as well, such as methane (CH4), or nitrous oxide (N2O).
Water footprints tell us how much water has been used to make a product. For example, about 140 litres of water are used to make one cup of coffee, because of the water used to irrigate and process the coffee beans.
An Eco Footprint tells us how much land we need to make all the stuff and energy that we use, to deal with our waste, and to sequester our greenhouse gas emissions. It measures global hectares of available productive land and sea. If everyone in the world had a fair share, then we’d have about two hectares each. In Wales we each use 5.16 global hectares each. If everybody in the world consumed as much ‘stuff’ as we do in Wales, then we’d need about three planet Earths to support us.