Living within a One Planet reality: the contribution of personal Footprint calculators
Ecological footprint calculators are increasingly being assessed for their effectiveness in informing and educating individuals and triggering more sustainable lifestyle choices.
This paper specifically focuses on Global Footprint Network’s (GFN) personal Footprint calculator. According to the paper, this calculator is an effective tool to help users embrace such a cross-cutting approach; it was considered helpful in knowledge generation and in motivating action.
However, the majority of the calculator’s users come from the educational sector (students or educators), suggesting that its current features, functionality and design might be attractive for this specific stakeholder group but fall short in providing policy makers with the information needed to develop and implement alternatives.
Moreover, a gap still remains in enabling individuals to convert new knowledge into action: while 3 out of 4 respondents were inspired to make changes, about half of them didn’t consider they had gained the necessary information on how to make changes, and 7 out of 10 felt uncertain about the difference an individual can make.
The study concludes that equipping Higher Education Institutions with tools such as can provide students with hands-on science-based knowledge & guide them through the knowledge-awareness-action journey.
Citation: Andrea Collins et al 2020 Environ. Res. Lett. 15 025008, Living within a One Planet reality: the contribution of personal Footprint calculators