Volume No. 2 Issue No.: 2 Page No.: 237-242 October-December 200

 

ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT CALCULATION FOR A COLLEGE CAMPUS IN SOUTH INDIA

 

Deeptha Thattai

School of Civil Engineering, SRM University Kattankulathur, Tamil Nadu (India)

 

Received on : August 6, 2007

 

ABSTRACT

 

The indiscriminate use of renewable resources has led to large-scale use and misuse of valuable resources including land and water by humans. More harm is done to the Earth because of this resource use because in the race to find alternatives to non-renewable resources, we forget that the renewable resources are not renewable within our life spans. The ecological footprint is a resource management tool that measures, in terms of equivalent area (global hectares, gha), how much land and water a given population requires for its current way of life. The ecological footprint also measures the area needed to produce the resources a population consumes and to absorb its wastes. Calculation of the ecological footprint gives us an idea about our sustainable (or unsustainable, as the case may be) lifestyle practices and where to go from the present situation. It has been done for a few cities and even countries around the world. Here, we determine the ecological footprint of the engineering campus of SRM University, which is located in southern India. The ecological footprint of India as a whole is only 0.8 gha compared to that of developed countries (USA 9.6, UK 5.6). But this is not something to rest on because given the fast pace of development in India in the last few years, the footprints of urban and rural India are sure to vary widely. Thus, knowing the footprint of the campus will help in planning for a sustainable future. Data from various sources of resource use such as electricity, food, transportation, and water were collected.

 

Keywords : Ecological footprint, Sustainable development, Green campus, Non-renewable resonrces, Solar power

 

 

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