Expanding the Footprint Paradigm

Aldo Leopold is credited with awakening modern society’s ecological awareness and environmental consciousness, inspiring many movements including:

  • The Land Ethic
  • Bioregionalism
  • Deep Ecology

There are two “spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.”

Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

And the ecological awareness and reverence for nature awakened by Aldo Leopold has arguably inspired metrics such as the Ecological Footprint, Carbon Footprint, Water Footprint. But this paradigm is not yet complete.

“There is in fact, a third spiritual danger in not owning a farm; it is supposing that the axe used to fell the tree, and the brick used to build the furnace, simply comes from the local hardware store.”

Dayan J. Anderson, President, Mineral Footprint Network

Our ecological awareness and reverence for nature must be complemented with a material awareness and respect for the tools we will need for a just and sustainable future.