Hello! My name is AH!Bear,
and I live in Alaska. It is cold, pristine, and has lots of wilderness and wildlife. A little girl asked me the other day – what is a Global Footprint? Well, the best way I can describe it is like this - you know the way you leave a footprint in the snow when you walk, like my friend the short-tailed albatross did across the top of this page? That’s something that you leave behind you as you go forward – everyone does.

It shows you’ve been there. Sometimes they disappear, like when the snow melts, but sometimes they stay for a long time – like when the snow freezes.

Well, a Global Footprint is what people leave behind them in the world. It could be something good, like a smile or a little plant you just put in the ground. Or it could be something not-so-good like trash. And it can be something invisible like energy – if you leave a light on in a room you’ve just been in then people know you were there. But you’re using up energy you don’t need because you’re not in the room!

When grown up's talk about a Global Footprint, they are usually talking about the environment, and what people leave behind them in the world. For a factory, it could be the pollution coming out of its chimney or draining into a river. For a supermarket, it could be the amount of light they use in the store, for a toy, it could be the amount of packaging it comes in – you get the drift.