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Mapping the Human Footprint

What does the average American consume, and discard, over a lifetime? It adds up to about 43,371 cans of soda, 5,067 bananas, and 64 tons of waste. National Geographic chronicles the impact of humans

Mapping the Human Footprint

Tom Fudge : There’s a new documentary film from National Geographic called Human Footprint . Now, if you're a tree hugger, that expression probably makes you think of the carbon footprint. That's the impact of the greenhouse gases we produce by driving our cars and heating our homes. But the human footprint, as National Geographic defines it, is much more than that. In their new documentary they try to give you an idea of all the things you consume, and how that impacts the earth.

Human Footprint looks at the use of resources in the United States, where people use more resources than anywhere else on earth. An American, for instance, uses 3,700 diapers in a lifetime. He or she drinks 13,000 pints of milk, 43,000 cans of soda, and eats nearly 13,000 oranges. Think of what that means in terms of mining resources, using water, and disposing of waste.


You can see the documentary Human Footprint on the National Geographic Channel this Sunday , April 13, at 9 p.m.