Q. How accurate are the data and results I'm seeing in Plnktn?
Plnktn uses data derived from the National Footprint Accounts. This is the most widely used set of national data from Global Footprint Network, which is guided by expert scientific committees and had been reviewed by a number of national governments.
Learn more about the data and methodology by visiting Global Footprint Network.
The results are most accurate for residents of middle- and high -income countries.
Q. How is my consumption calculated?
All data in Plnktn is measured by looking at the average amount of resourses needed for a specific product or service for a single person per day.
When you add items into Plnktn to measure your total daily consumption, it will calculate the Ecological Footprint of your daily lifestyle.
The unit ‘# of Earths’ represents the number of Earths required if all humans lived your daily lifestyle.
That's why it is important to lead as an example and be the change you want to see in the world.
Q. Why can’t I get my Footprint within the means of one planet?
A person’s Ecological Footprint includes both personal and societal impacts. The Footprint associated with food, mobility, and goods is easier for you to directly influence through lifestyle choices (eating less meat, driving less, etc). However a citizens Footprint also includes societal impacts or “services”, such as government assistance, roads and infrastructure, public services, health care, entertainment, restaurants, real estate, legal services and the military of the country that they live in. These services are not variable in Plnktn and everyone using the app has a portion of these “services” Footprint allocated to them.
The Footprint of these societal impacts does not vary within middle- and high -income countries and therefore it is not possible to reduce your Footprint to below one planet.
This is why, if we want to achieve sustainability, we need to focus on two things: both our own lifestyle as well as influencing our governments. Even with significant changes in individual behavior, a large portion of a personal Footprint comes from the way national infrastructure is designed, goods are produced, and government and public services operate.
In order to allow their citizens to achieve a lifestyle that fits within one planet, governments need to dramatically improve the efficiency of the built environment and invest in renewable energy and smart land-use planning.
Q. Doesn't it matter where I live?
Thanks to globalazion it's evident that we are all connected and share the same ecosystem.
A product can have parts mined in one country, assembled in another and sold and distribted in another.
However, there are countries that are more consumer heavy than others. These "mass consumer societies" are able to consume at this rate at the cost of other countries and regions of our planet.
Additionally, each region has its own laws and regulations and each country's infrastructure and investment in sustainable practices has a very big impact on our ecosystems.
That's why it's not only important to look after our consumer habits but also to put pressure on our elected representatives to advocate for a sustainable future - not only in our own part of the world but for the entire planet.
Keep a look out for region specific options in future releases of Plnktn.
Q. What is a global hectare (gha) and why does it matter?
A global hectare represents the biocapacity or life supporting ability of a hectare (100 meters by 100 meters) of world average productive land.
There are about 12 billion hectares of productive land and sea on Earth. (One hectare equales 2.47 acres.) When we divide this by the 7+ billion people on Earth, we get approximately 1.7 hectares of productive land area per person. That’s the about the size of 3 American football fields or about 2.5 soccer fields.
Q. What is CO2e?
CO2e or Equivalent CO2, is amount of CO2 that would have same amount of impact as other greenhouse gases.
Examples of these greenhouse gases are methane, perfluorocarbons and nitrous oxide.
Q. What is Earth Overshoot Day?
Earth Overshoot Day is the date when humanity's resource consumption for the year exceeds Earth's capacity to regenerate those resources that year.
Visit overshootday.org to learn more.
Q. Why is Earth Overshoot Day in Plnktn different than on overshootday.org?
The calculations on overshootday.org includes resource consumption from the entire planet inlcuding middle and high -income countries as well as developing countries.
Plnktn on the other hand calculates Earth Overshoot Day based on index from middle and high -income countries.
This is to demonstrate the important fact that if everyone on our planet continues to consume at the current rate as in the industrialized countries, our resources will deplete very quickly.
We all have a responsibility in taking care of our only home.
Q. What about recycling and composting?
Like bicycling or walking to work, recycling, composting, and other positive actions are not acts of consumption, and therefore do not affect your daily Footprint. However, they do support industries and infrastructure that are associated with achieving a sustainable future. If these actions are adopted globally, we will see major Footprint reductions in the future.
Q. What about water consumption?
Water consumption is not explicitly calculated by the Ecological Footprint but is inherently included into the calculation of number# of Earths.