You might not often think that things like mailing a letter, dry cleaning clothes, going to a concert, or buying insurance can impact your ecological footprint, but they do, because all require energy and built-up land. Money paid to household insurance agents goes to replacing homes that were destroyed. Clearly, the indirect effects of our ecological footprints extend a long way!

Fossil fuel land

Fossil energy is used for each of the 8 services listed in the spreadsheet (cells B114-B121). The standard formula for estimating fossil fuel land applies here, but note that the energy intensity ratio changes for each service--from a low of 1 Mj/kg for telephone service up to 50 Mj/kg for international postal delivery. This reflects the fact that flying mail across the globe requires significant inputs of energy.

Forested land

The calculation for forested land generated by housing insurance payments assumes that half of the insurance money goes to administration, and the other half goes to insurance claims (rebuilding houses). The figures for rebuilding houses are taken from the hotel category (excluding the operational energy part). Since rebuilding of houses does not include land prices, the resource intensity is doubled (assuming that half the cost of housing is land, and half is construction).

Built-up land

Calculations of built-up land for services follow the same assumptions and data sources as those for goods. Please see the Goods Calculations for details.