Earth Cafe 2050

Earth Café 2050 is an interactive demonstration of Ecological Footprinting developed by the students in the Environmental Studies capstone course. The “ecological footprint” is a technique that quantifies the land resources required to support humans depending on their lifestyles. Using "menu driven" information, Earth Café 2050 calculates your footprint using Mathis Wackernagel's 2003 Household Ecological Footprint Calculator. This method requires some simple assumptions about the weight of various goods, and average number of pieces of furniture per room to easily convert answers into units of productive land. Today's ecological footprint illustrates the human impact on the environment by acknowledging how many earths would be required if everyone in 2050 lived at your current standard of living.

To date, Earth Café 2050 has been used on campus for various awareness-raising and educational activities, including First Year Orientation programming, Student Affairs staff training, for a Sustainability Café, and for Campus Sustainability Day in October 2005. The students in the Sustainably-Conscious Living Community have used this exercise to help their residents calculate their own footprint. The Café was demonstrated at the Sustainability Fair at the Ithaca Festival 2006 and at the New York State Association of Outdoor Educators conference in Ithaca in Fall 2005. Earth Café 2050 traveled to the “Greening of the Campus IV” conference at Ball State in 2005.

We want everybody to use Earth Café 2050, this simple but powerful tool to demonstrate personal consumption impacts, so all the instructions for making your own complete set of Earth Café 2050 blocks and all the supporting educational materials are included below:

Earth Café Instructions

Earth Café Tray Cover

Earth Café Menus

Earth Café “Cheat Sheets” (The Conversion Tables)

Earth Café Block Count

Earth Cafe Receipts (optional)

Earth Café "What You Can Do" signs 

We simply ask that if you put Earth Café 2050 into use for your organization or campus, please let us know. In particular, please send us photos of Earth Café 2050 in action at your location.