Why is it important to reduce ecological footprints?
Theresa, Great question.
Understanding ecological footprints is a way of charting our relationship with the planet's environment and natural resources.
The limits to our natural resources are expressed in in myriad ways such as biodiversity loss, topsoil depletion, the collapse of fish stocks, peak oil etc.
Understanding how to reduce ecological footprints is a key step in repairing our relationship with the biosphere and developing more sustainable approaches to living and development.
I think it is important to make sure we leave the place better than the way we found it. That's my personal input anyway :).
Our planet is an extremely fragile ecosystem that depends on a vast number of extremely complex, interconnected physical systems, making it extremely sensitive to rapid changes to its environment. Once the intricate balance responsible for sustaining life on earth is broken, the planet would rapidly become inhospitable resulting in rapid loss of life and potentially, extinction on a mass scale of majority of the species residing here, including us, humans.
If we don't drastically reduce each individual's ecological footprint, by the shear numbers of our exponentially bulging population, our insatiable appetites for the earths resources will drive this balance off the scale. That is, if, we already haven't done so! Our mentality has to change from "more is better" to "less is more" where we don't just take what we can but take only what we need. We humans are also part of the eco system and must work with it not against it to restore the balance to not only our planet but to ourselves.
Because there are 7 billion people on the planet (and growing) and we are destroying our biodiversity, air, water and soil.