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Ecological Footprint Study

Students from Clube Eco-paper (9.º1) at Escola B+S Bispo D. Manuel Ferreira Cabral, in Santana, have been studying their “Ecological Footprints,” as a way of calculating their impact on the planet since the projects inception in 2013/2014.

In their press release they wrote:

“The intention is to compare results, analyse and reflect on them, suggest measures that can reduce everyone’s carbon footprint, and sensitise the entire educational community and population of the importance of sustainable living.

In Portugal, “the ecological footprint (according to 2020 data) is 4.5 hectares (ha) per capita, and if this trend were global, planet earth would need to be 2.5 times larger to meet our consumption needs. The results obtained in this study were “a little alarming,” to say the least.  Especially, as since the project began, most students ecological footprint is between 6 to 8 ha, similar to that recorded in 2013/2014. This result are an accumulation of living at home, using vast amounts of electricity and water.  In addition, it was found that most students did not look at ways of recycling waste, and only a minority composted material or separated household waste for recycling.”

The school concluded that “after the presentation of this study, it is important that both teachers and students reflect on the results and improve their behaviour, so that everyone can contribute to reducing their individual ecological footprint, and assume an increasingly active and conscious role at school, home and in society. The fact that the school is located inside the Santana Biosphere Reserve, makes these results even more alarming, as the data indicates that the human race is is moving away instead of towards sustainability.”

Posing a final question they asked:

“Have you already calculated your ecological footprint? What ecological practices do you adopt in your daily life? Remember, we all have to work towards the sustainability and salvation of our planet.”

Samantha Gannon

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