Every human being needs to have a limited or restricted area of the surface of the earth to support his or her existence. Every land and sea used by a human being is measured by its footprint. We, therefore, food product footprints, wood products footprints, and space footprints among other human ecosystem requirements. Compared to other regions, the U.S footprint differs in terms of ecosystem utility. Statistics show that the U.S ecosystem utilization is higher in percentage, although its population is low (Spoolman & Miller 66). This is evident in the use of the environmental recourses in the U.S, which is being over used by a smaller population than in other regions. It shows that the U.S, whose population is smaller in terms of the ecosystem use, can change their percentage of the environmental demands and still survive well.
The U.S ecological footprint, according to analysis is the highest ever in terms of consumption, compared to other nations. The research shows that the U.S consumption is the highest in the world and is double the consumption percentage of the E.U. The bio-capacity analysis shows that wealthy countries such as America are known to consume bio-resources at very high speed levels, which may make it impossible for the countries not to survive (Perdan & Azapagic 124). The manner of the utilization of these resources would result in the necessity for short-term stock-up capacity, and may in the long run result to substantial negative impacts on the environment.
As a rich nation, United States of America is seen to be consuming exceptionally high amounts of resources compared to other countries (Yonavjak, et. al. 200). This consumption shows that people in richer countries are able to access bigger quantities of resources that they require. While the population in the U.S is expected to grow by 312 million to 370 million between 2011 and 2030, there will be more pressure on the environment. This weight on the ecosystem will endanger the maintenance of the environment even more, unless adjustments are made to reduce the rate of consumption per person.
Measurements of consumptions of different resources have been analyzed and some of them are shown below.
There was an increase of daily calorie consumption for average American where in 1970 it was 2,168 and in 2008 it was 2,173.
An average America consumed 49 gallons of soft drinks in 2001 and data shows that the percentage had increased by 350% since 1947.
The amount of sugar consumed by an average American right now is three times the recommended amount (Spoolman & Miller p.97).
Fats added to food went up by 53% between 1970 and 2008.
Over 93% of Americans have a body mass index of over 25 with 73 % of them being adults and 20 percent being children.
Estimated gallons of water used per day in the U.S in 2005 generally was 410 million gallons
More water was used in the western states that in the eastern states due to irrigation in 2005 , with the consumption in the western being 44% more.
Household-wise, 70 gallons were used per person in a day for various common uses in 2005
Material use and waste management (Rees & Wackernagel 75):
Materials used in America in 2000 were more that those consumed in Europe by 52%
The consumption of raw materials in the U.S which are non-remnant grew 5.1 times faster that the population.
Recycling services are greater in percentage in the Northern regions of the U.S than other regions.
Residential and commercial structures
Between 1950 and 2000, the residential setting in the U.S changed into having remarkably few people occupying a big space and constructing huge houses, with the size of living space increasing by 120 %
Due to big space occupation by residents, the amount of heat required for such spaces is, therefore, huge.
The U.S as a rich country should not ignore the reality about overconsumption of resources because, the effects are obvious and serious (Rees & Wackernagel 55). The issue can be addressed by the government by regulating the policies concerning use of resources, and come up with a different pattern where everyone can consume what the environment can afford to give.
Perdan, Slobodan and Azapagic, Adisa. Sustainable Development in Practice: Case Studies for Engineers and Scientists. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, 2011. Print.
Rees, William and Wackernagel, Mathis. Our ecological Footprint: Reducing Human Impacon the Earth. New York, NY: New Society Publishers, 1996. Print.
Spoolman, Scott and Miller, George. Environmental Science: Problems, Concepts, and Solutions. New York, NY: Cengage Learning, 2007. Print.
Yonavjak, Logan, Schoch, Robert and McKinney, Michael. Environmental Science: Systems and Solutions. New York, NY: Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2007. Print.