"We'd need the world four times over!"

On the whole the Flemish think that they are living a far more eco-friendly life than is actually the case. Nearly half of all Flemings think there isn't a problem with their ecological footprint, when in reality we would need the world four times over if everybody were to live like the Flemish!

The ecological footprint measures human demand on the earth's ecosystems. It represents the amount of biologically productive land and sea necessary to supply the resources a human population consumes.

Wim Verbeke of Ghent University says that practically everybody who took part in the research indicated that they made some effort to limit their ecological footprint: "People sort their rubbish and try to reduce energy consumption and insulate their homes. Often these are measures for which there is a financial incentive."

"All these small measures have given the impression that Flemings are on the right track, but by international comparisons we are not doing that well."

Wim Verbeke suggests more people could leave their car at home and turn the heating down a notch.

"Some Flemings are on the right track, but they need to get confirmation of this. People who aren't doing their part, need more information.