My Eco Footprint

Today, Peta from Sydney’s Precinct Magazine interviewed me at home, about living in the City of Sydney and trying to live a ‘greener’ life.

I spent the afternoon demonstrating our household Bokashi bin, worm farm, home wireless electricity monitor and even our dog poo recycling system.

Peta was particularly interested in the Australian Conservation Foundation’s report that shows Sydney residents to have an average eco-footprint of 8.58 hectares per person per year.  This is well above both State (6.33) and Federal (6.4) averages.

The Australian Conservation Foundation’s website states that “eco-footprint is an indication of the total amount of land required to supply all the resources a person’s lifestyle demands. Australian’s have the fourth largest eco-footprint in the world”.

So how does my eco-footprint compare to the average Sydney, NSW and Australian rate?  After chatting with Peta today I visited The Australian Conservation Foundation’s website and looked at their ‘Consumption Atlas’ then calculated my own personal eco-footprint.  According to their calculator my eco-footprint is 4.8 hectares per year.

This may be well below Sydney, NSW and Australian averages but it is however way above the 1.8 hectares, that ACF states is sustainable.

In finishing, I wish to thank Peta for taking the time to visit me at my home to research what I am doing on my ‘green’ journey.  Also Peta I wish to thank you for sharing your research with me as I am inspired to work at getting my personal eco-footprint down even further. 

13 thoughts on “My Eco Footprint

  1. I don’t know If I said it already but …Great site…keep up the good work. 🙂 I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read….


  2. Congrats on the interview.

    I agree with the comments that the calculators are not all that reliable….but I think they are a great tool for thinking about the relative impacts of our lifestyle. i tried a few of the calculators a while back and found they varied in usefullness….I got a footprint of that varied from 3.8 – 4.2 global hectares. What i did find very very useful was that the calculators revealed that the greatest impact was from the food I ate. hence i focussed first on food when trying to decrease my ecological footprint.

    I talk about it here if you are interested :



  3. Nevyn your not dense I just didn’t read your comment well. I also think I assumed that everyone has a service charge on their bills. Why do we have a service charge on our bill? Bet you it is a Sydney thing i.e. slug the city people extra charges on their service bills as they will assume everyone is the same. Another reason for moving to the country! Got to read more about your (and Gav’s) solar panels for electricity as I am looking into doing it now.

    Gav yeah your right. You only have to read Nevyn’s comment to see that the calculator is just an indication. But it is still a good idea and gets people thinking about their actions and lifestyle. Thanks for your encouragement!!!!!

    Hi Jim Bean. Is that really your name? Cool if it is. Gives a whole new meaning when your friends say “I’m hanging with Jim Bean”. Either way thanks for stopping by and saying hello.


  4. I don’t know If I said it already but …I’m so glad I found this site…Keep up the good work I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say GREAT blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read..Jim Bean


  5. Hi Sarhn, well done on your interview. They are good fun, aren’t they.

    I wouldn’t take the consumption calculator too seriously. My footprint worked out at 3.9 ha. I know for a fact that I don’t emit 6.9 t of CO2-e per year, because it is a big fat ZERO. For that I do emit, I offset 100%.

    It is not until you get a proper GHG audit performed that you will really know what your impact is. Don’t sweat the small stuff, you are doing fine as you have carried your green values to your work. That is a lot more than most people have done!



  6. Maybe I’m a bit dense. I put 0 for both water and electricity. We have no service fees for water and the electricity company owes us money. I’ll give it another go and see what happens.


  7. Green Family Blog, well hello to you all the way over in Texas USA. I did check out your blog and I love the concept that everyone in your family are contributing to posts on your family blog. I have added your link to my international blog roll. Nice work guys!

    Nevyn, Peta said that she was going to send me a copy of the newspaper/magazine when it is finished. I know she has interviewed many other people so don’t know how much of me will end up in her story. In relation to your eco-footprint and your service bills – you didn’t add the service amount on your bills but just the usage? I.e. if Brett & I went away on holidays and nothing in our home was turned on for the whole period of our next gas, water and electricity bill, we still would have to pay a service charge. No usage would be recorded however but for the right to have these services connected you still get charged (regardless if you use them or not). Just check again as I think you will find your eco-footprint will be a lot less.

    Simon thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I will check out the UK footprint map. Thanks 🙂


  8. Hi Sahrn,

    Well done with the interview. I hope you get some feedback from it. I tried convincing my parents to get a bokashi bin, I even offered to buy them one for Christmas. I was given the very strong impression that it wouldn’t be appreciated. I’m still working on them. I just haven’t found the right tact yet. Maybe if I break that god awful loud garbage diposal thing in their sink they might change their minds. I’ll have to give that one some serious thought.

    I did my eco footprint and it worked out at 4.6 hectares. I was a bit confused because it said our water was 0.4 megaliters. We have rain water tanks and they are our only source of water. And I scored 7.31 on Green house gases. I was a bit surprised because we have solar panels and export more power than we use. Not having access to public transport was definitely a bit of a bugger. We’re still better than the local, state and national average but obviously there is room for improvement.


  9. Hi Sarhn,

    I just found your blog whilst searching for tips for living a greener life and I have to say I love reading it!
    Congrats on the interview with Peta, I will be reading more about your dog poop recycling, we have five dogs of our own and certainly have lots of poop!

    I am an editor for a green family blog here in Texas, USA and wondered if you would like to link to us in your “International Green Blogs” category?
    You can view our blog at;

    Thanks for your time,


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