The Utah Population and Environment Coalition (UPEC) spearheaded the first effort to calculate the Ecological Footprint of a US state. The report, Utah Vital Signs 2007: the Ecological Footprint of Utah finds that Utah’s Footprint is greater than its biocapacity. Between 1990 and 2003, Utah went from an ecological surplus of 10.8 million global hectares (gha) to an ecological deficit of 2.4 million gha; Utahns are now using 11% more regenerative capacity than is available in their state. Despite this evidence of local ecological overshoot, public response to the study has been mostly positive, says Sandra McIntyre, the project director. “As we take the results of the study into the community, we are pleased to see how many people in Utah are making changes in their lifestyles to become more sustainable.”
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Global Footprint Network is thrilled to have BioRegional Development Group join us as one of our newest sponsoring partners. Bioregional develops innovative low-Footprint, locally-based commercial products such as hemp textiles and builds communities that are designed to help residents move toward a “one planet lifestyle.” These One Planet Living Communities, such as the UK’s BedZed eco-village, are paving the way for a transformation in how housing is developed around the world.
To kick off our partnership, Global Footprint Network provided BioRegional staff with an intensive 2-day technical training that will help them use the Ecological Footprint to analyze the performance of their One Planet Living Communities.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, Artist Chris Jordan‘s photos speak volumes. In Jordan’s own words, the photographs portray “contemporary American culture through the austere lens of statistics.”
Many of the images portray a specific quantity of something Americans consume: 8 million toothpicks, representing the number of trees harvested in the US every month to make the paper for mail order catalogs; 106,000 aluminum cans, reflecting “thirty seconds of can consumption,” according to Jordan. The image above, for example, is a portion of Jordan’s image of 426,000 cell phones, which he says is “equal to the number of cell phones retired in the US every day.”
This series will be exhibited at the Paul Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles, opening Sep 8. More info at www.paulkopeikingallery.com.