OAKLAND, Calif., July 14, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Today marks the date the United States has busted its annual ecological budget, utilizing more resources and services than U.S. ecosystems can regenerate within the full year, according to a new report released by Global Footprint Network, an international sustainability think tank.
The report, "State of the States: A New Perspective on the Wealth of Our Nation," details the Ecological Footprint and resource availability of 50 states. Created in collaboration with Earth Economics in Tacoma, Washington, the report finds that resource consumption and availability varies dramatically state by state.
A Twitter chat on the report will be held at 9 AM PST/Noon EST July 14, 2015, at #USAfootprint. To learn more about our State of the States report, visit www.footprintnetwork.org/states.
Highlights from the report include:
- The population of the United States is using twice the renewable natural resources and services that can be regenerated within its borders.
- The states with the largest per-person Ecological Footprints are Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware.
- The states with the smallest per-person Ecological Footprints are New York, Idaho, and Arkansas.
- Alaska, Texas, and Michigan are the most resource-abundant states based on biocapacity, a measure of bioproductive land.
- The states with the least biocapacity are Rhode Island, Delaware, and Arizona.
- California, Texas, and Florida have the highest ecological deficits, with their demand for resources (Ecological Footprint) exceeding what their ecosystems can regenerate (biocapacity).
- Alaska, South Dakota, and Montana have the greatest ecological reserves.
California provides a vivid example of the risks posed by resource constraints. The state's four-year drought has resulted in historic limits on water usage, more than $2 billion of lost agriculture revenue, and battles over water rights.
"Each state's circumstances are unique," says Global Footprint Network President Mathis Wackernagel. "Yet all states have this in common: the need to manage their resources carefully and ensure a resilient future for citizens and for our entire nation."
Calculate your own personal Ecological Footprint: www.footprintnetwork.org/calculator
California Footprint Report: www.footprintnetwork.org/california
Sustainable Investments in Maryland Report: www.footprintnetwork.org/maryland
Free Ecological Footprint Data on 182 countries: www.footprintnetwork.org/public2015
About Global Footprint Network:
Global Footprint Network is an international think tank working to drive informed, sustainable policy decisions in a world of limited resources. Global Footprint Network coordinates research, develops methodological standards, and provides decision-makers a menu of tools to help the human economy operate within Earth's ecological limits. www.footprintnetwork.org
About Earth Economics
Earth Economics is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, economic research, and policy organization located in Tacoma, Wash, whose goal is to help communities shift away from the failed economic policies of the past, towards an approach that is both economically viable and environmentally sustainable.
SOURCE Global Footprint Network