The ecological footprint is a measure of the area needed to support a population's lifestyle. This includes the consumption of food, fuel, wood, and fibres. Pollution, such as carbon dioxide emissions, is also counted as part of the footprint. Biocapacity measures how biologically productive land is. It is measured in 'global hectares': a hectare with the world average biocapacity. Biologically productive land includes cropland, pasture, forests and fisheries
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When the urge to give flowers takes you, choose a potted plant from a local supplier. A lot of exotic flowers are grown in greenhouses great distances away. Aside from the issue of transport, there can be high social and environmental costs. For example, in Colombia, the flower industry uses enormous quantities of polluting pesticides, and in Kenya, horticulture requires a lot of water which reduces local water resources. As an alternative ask your flower shop for Fairtrade or organically produced flowers.
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