We’re currently consuming resources and polluting the planet at a level the Earth cannot sustain. Ecological footprinting shows that if everyone in the world consumed as many natural resources as the average European, we’d need three planets to support us.
St Albans’ ecological footprint
You may be surprised to hear that St Albans has the second highest ecological footprint of all the UK’s cities. We consume enough to require three and a half planets if everyone in the world lived as we do.
Source: World Wildlife Fund City Footprint Report 2007 – city_footprint2 p.20
Learn more about the climate crisis and carbon footprints
How do we define sustainability?
Sustainable St Albans uses the One Planet Living framework to explain what we mean by sustainable living:
One Planet Living is the vision of a world in which people enjoy happy, healthy lives within their fair share of the earth’s resources, leaving space for wildlife and wilderness.
“Sustainability means development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
Sustainable living is when we consider the impact of fossil fuels on global warming and climate change and develop ways to make our energy use more efficient.
We reduce our over-consumption, re-build communities that support each other, and maintain heritage rather than destroy it.
We protect existing bio-diversity and natural habitats, conserve water, and support equitable local economies. Overall we promote health and well-being.
- Sustainable Cities Index: Balancing the economic, social and environmental needs of the world’s leading cities in a report by Arcadis.
- Dr Alina Congreve’s presentation for Sustainable St Albans on the Role of Small Cities in Progressing Action on Climate Change.
- Climate change: information from NASA
- Habitat Loss: “Humanity has wiped out 60% of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970, leading the world’s foremost experts to warn that the annihilation of wildlife is now an emergency that threatens civilisation.” WWF report.