Today, April 22nd, is Earth Day, and many events take place worldwide to support the environment and its protection, or at least raise awareness in that respect. I am not aware of any local events here in Kyoto, so I did not participate in anything, although there may have been some in Tokyo or in other large cities around Japan.
However, I tried the Ecological Footprint Calculator on the Earth Day homepage. You have to choose the country where you live (or the one closest to it) before you start calculating, because obviously, your footprint not only depends on your own actions, but also on societal factors that are a bit harder to influence for the average citizen.
I did two different calculations, one for Switzerland, as a central European, and the one for Japan. Interestingly, the questions are very different in both calculators, for example there was a large section on recycling for Switzerland, which did not feature in the Japanese one at all. In both there was the question “How much of your food is produced locally?”, which I found a very tough one to answer. I mean, I know that the rice I eat is definitely Japanese, but even the Japanese chocolate I consume so much of is made from imported cocoa beans… The strangest thing I encountered in the Japanese questionnaire was the question for the size of your home. Apparently, the average Japanese lives on something between 150 and 200 m^2 – that can’t be right, surely?
Anyway, me living in Japan means that my lifestyle would consume 1.8 Earths if everyone did it that way (the calculation for Switzerland gives a result of 2.4 Earths). How large is your footprint?