eco Council

What is myfootprint?

What is ‘myfootprint

myfootprint is an online tool to create a household action plan to save power, water and money. It assists you to reduce your ecological footprint and track your progress towards a more sustainable lifestyle.

myfootprint enables you to:

  • Calculate the ecological and financial savings of more than 35 sustainable actions.
  • Create a personal action plan to track your progress towards a sustainable future.
  • Share your journey with other likeminded households in your area.

How do I use this myfootprint?

myfootprint comprises a range of actions you can undertake to reduce your ecological footprint, your Green House Gas (GHG) emissions and save money.

To get started:

  1. Sign Up
    1. Click the ‘Sign up’ button and enter your details. Don’t forget to remember your password.
    2. You will be sent an account activation email to confirm your registration. Check your email inbox and click on the link contained in the email. Note: If you cannot see this email in your inbox please check your junk mailbox, as it may be there.
    3. The link will open a web page that activates your account. Click on the login link and login to the site, with your email and password.
  2. Pledge action
    1. Upon login you are taken to the ‘Pledge action’ page. The pledge action page lists actions that will reduce your impact on the environment and save you money.
    2. Pledge actions you wish to undertake, by selecting a timeframe from the drop-down menu. Pledge actions you have already completed, by selecting the ‘already doing it’ option from the drop-down menu. This will provide you a more accurate representation of your current ecological footprint.
    3. When your satisfied with your current pledges, click the 'Update my actions' button at the bottom of the page. Note: It may take a few seconds to update the page, so please be patient. Upon saving your pledged actions, the ‘myfootprint summary box’ (in top right sidebar) will automatically be updated with your new footprint and financial savings. You can return to update your actions at any time.
  3. View your action plan
    1. Click on the ‘myfootprint’ link in the sub-navigation menu (in the left sidebar) to view your action plan and savings. It displays your name, photo, a summary of your current ecologocal footprint, a table of actions pledged, actions completed and a graphical representation of your footprint breackdown.sample footprint breakdown graphThis graph indicates the size of your household's footprint and the impact your pledged and completed actions will have on reducing it. It also indicates what a sustainable footprint would be for your household i.e. based on the numbers of people in your household.
  4. Update my profile (optional)
    1. The ‘Update my profile’ page enables you to gain a more accurate measure of your footprint and financial savings, by indicating how many people live in your household and your annual income. Note: This details are never displayed or stored on the website.
    2. The ‘Update my profile’ page also enables you to upload a profile photo and tell your story. Doing so will encourage others to join and share their journey towards sustainability.

What is an ecological footprint and what are myfootprint savings?

An ecological footprint is the amount of land required to support your life and lifestyle. It is a measure of your impact on the environment and is commonly used to guide us toward a sustainable footprint (i.e. a footprint that if adopted by all humans would not exceed the productive land on Earth). In quantaive terms is represented in metres squared (m2).

Ecological feature

Using this site, your myfootprint includes all the land required to:

  • provide all the resources you consume in a year, and
  • absorb all the waste you produce in a year.

In terms of your footprint savings in your action plan, a saving of 10,000 footprints equals a saving of 10,000 m2 of land required to support your consumption.

Using the footprint as a measure of your lifestyle’s impact on the environment allows us to measure how much change we require in order to live sustainably.

It is estimated that in 2007 the average Australian footprint was 6.8 global hectares per capita (Global footprint Network 2010 report [2007 data]).  As the following graph shows, while the ecological footprint in Australia remains relatively constant we have constantly reduced the biocapacity or ability of Australia to provide for ourselves.

Resource demand and supply

Figure 1 - tracks the per-person resource demand (Ecological Footprint) and resource supply (Biocapacity) in Australia since 1961. Biocapacity varies each year with ecosystem management, agricultural practices (such as fertilizer use and irrigation), ecosystem degradation, and weather. (Source: Global Footprint Network)

This site proposes actions you can take to reduce the size of your footprint.

What is sustainable footprint or a sustainable life?

A sustainable life is a lifestyle whose ecological footprint would not exceed the Earths bio-capacity, should all people enjoy this lifestyle.

In 2006, the average biologically productive area per person worldwide was approximately 1.8 global hectares (gha) or 18,000 m2 per capita. This is a sustainable footprint for an individual.

Currently western lifestyles exceed this level. For example, the average Australian ecological footprint is 6.8 global hectares or 3.7 times a sustainable footprint.

The average Australian household with 2.6 people in it, has a sustainable footprint at or below 4.68 global hectares or 46,800 m2.

How we put myfootprint together?

Developed in partnership with the University of Sydney’s Integrated Sustainability Analysis research group (ISA), myfootprint uses ABS Australian expenditure patterns to generate your household’s ecological footprint.

The ecological footprint consists of three elements and indicates the area of land required to support your household’s consumption. The three elements are:

  • Green House Gas emissions
  • Water consumption
  • Land use

The actions in the Sustainable Living Guide section of the site (see under the category heading of “Community”, “Food & Drink”, “House”, etc…) indicate the reduction they can have on your ecological footprint, allowing you to create a program of action to move your household toward a sustainable level of consumption.

myfootprint is a digital content and software product, that compliments local councils broader community engagement program, to inspire and support households to take practical steps towards:

  • Reducing their impact on the environment
  • Saving money and investing in a sustainable future
  • Encouraging community participation and collaboration