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TIP. Revista especializada en ciencias químico-biológicas

Print version ISSN 1405-888X


IBARRA-CISNEROS, José Manuel  and  MONROY-ATA, Arcadio. Questionnaire to compute the ecological footprint of Mexican university students and its application in the Zaragoza Campus of the National University. TIP [online]. 2014, vol.17, n.2, pp.147-154. ISSN 1405-888X.

In this work a 30 item questionnaire was made in order to estimate the ecological footprint (EF) of Mexican university students, taking into account the lifestyle and the consumption pattern in Mexican culture. First, from statistical yearbooks, the average productivity (in ton/ha/year) of the most popular agricultural, farming and fish products, and paper for notebooks was obtained, with a view to determine the production area of the different goods to be consumed by the typical Mexican in a year. We also calculated the mean surface to absorb the carbon dioxide produced by energy comsuption directly (use of transportation, electronic devices, warm water to take a shower and daily tap water), and indirectly (production, distribution and marketing of goods). Second, the obtained surfaces were translated to global hectares (gha) through conversion factors. Subsequently, the questionnaire was answered by 125 university students with the following results: 1.48 gha of mean ecological footprint, with the highest value corresponding to food consumption (0.42 gha) due to meat products, followed by energy use (0.35 gha), essentially by home gas utilization in daily showers. This EF is inside the limits of global sustainability (< 1.61 gha). No significant differences were found due to study level, age or sex of the sample. Finally, it was concluded that the questionnaire is coherent in relation to the results obtained in other calculators available on line and made in countries with a high consumption level of goods and services, and that this represents the first ecological footprint calculator that takes account of Mexican idiosyncrasy.

Keywords : University students; ecological footprint; Mexico; sustainability.

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