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DATE: December 18, 2001
CONTACT: Craig Cheslog or Janet Graesser, Redefining Progress


OAKLAND, Calif.—If you have always wanted to measure your ecological impact on the planet and did not know how, you now have that opportunity on the Redefining Progress web site.

Redefining Progress today unveiled a new, upgraded web-based Ecological Footprint Quiz calculator, which measures our individual impact on the planet. To discover the size of your own Ecological Footprint, visit and take this quick and easy 13-question quiz.

The Ecological Footprint quiz includes questions about individual food choices, transportation use, and housing. The answers are tallied to determine the Ecological Footprint for an individual living in the U.S. Footprint calculations are based on the most current usable United Nations statistics (1997).

Redefining Progress' calculations show that the average American needs approximately 31 acres to support his or her level of resource consumption. An acre is roughly the size of a football field without the end zones.

"If everyone on the planet lived like Americans, it would take six planets to support our rate of consumption," said Redefining Progress Sustainability Program Director Mathis Wackernagel. "These dramatic numbers indicate why change is necessary to preserve our resource base and curtail extreme overuse of natural resources."

The Ecological Footprint of Nations 2001 report (available in pdf format), also released today by Redefining Progress, compares the ecological impact of 52 large nations, which are inhabited by 80 percent of the world population. This report indicates that humanity has already exceeded the Earth's biological capacity by over a third. Many nations run even more significant ecological deficits. The United States' ecological deficit is over 50 percent.

For more detailed information on the Ecological Footprint of Nations 2001 report or to take the Redefining Progress Ecological Footprint quiz, go to

Note: This press release refers to an outdated version of the Ecological Footprint Quiz; please see the most current Quiz at