'Footprint' is a word that is now being popularly used by environmentalists working in all the various fields. While this has become a common usage in the academic circles, the common man (and woman) is slowly getting the hang of the word.
What is footprint?
Imagine standing on a beach in Goa......
As you step away from the location
You can see what you have left behind. A pair of feet on the sand. This footprint on the sand signifies the amount of land that you used to stand. It is the amount of land resource that you need.
What does that mean in the perspective of the environment? It simply means that your 'environmental footprint' signifies the amount of resources that you use during the course of your daily lifestyle. This is the print of your feet on the environment or the nature around you.
Now a days, footprints are being taken into account for all the various resources we use. So, you can have a 'carbon footprint' for the amount of Green House Gases that you emit due to your activities like power usage, travelling, cooking etc. You can have a 'water footprint' for the amount of water you use in your daily life. 'Footprints' can be calculated for Industries, Households and even Individuals.
How does foot printing help the environmental cause and how you can get involved will be taken up in the subsequent posts.