A person's ecological footprint describes the area of land necessary to meet his/her needs (food, accommodation, transport and consumption). Austria's per capita ecological footprint is three times the size it should be from a global, sustainable perspective. Our "walk-in" ecological footprint in the form of a maze is a fun way for visitors to explore their own lifestyles. An outstanding example of an educational resource on sustainability, the walk-in ecological footprint at the Gesäuse National Park was awarded the Austrian Climate Protection Prize in 2012 and has been designated as a Decade Project by the Austrian Commission for UNESCO.
Austria's first walk-in ecological footprint
The aim of the first walk-in ecological footprint at the Gesäuse National Park is to give visitors amusing insights into various facets of daily life. Instead of lecturing, it offers a valuable experience – the opportunity to test the future sustainability of our lifestyles. And, just as the flood of information and news in real life is often unclear and confusing, visitors to the ecological footprint find themselves in a maze, where incorrectly answered questions lead to dead-ends. Like the meandering routes taken by human civilisation, some turnings will lead to places from which the only way out is back the way you came. Only those solutions that do not harm the planet will take you where you want to go!
Discover a sustainable lifestyle
The entire surrounding area with the Willow Dome visitor centre encourages visitors to explore sustainable lifestyles: discover the biggest "living" building in Austria, the kitchen garden and adjacent fruit tree avenue with old domestic fruit varieties, explore ideas connected with sustainable energy supply and transport and much more! Plans to erect an impressive stage, with spectacular views across the footprint to the north face of the Hochtor mountains, will add interesting presentations, cabaret and evening events to the programmes offered by this unique visitor attraction.
How big is my ecological footprint?
We offer ranger-guided programmes on the ecological footprint to expand on the experiences gained in the maze. Discover in fun, exciting ways how you can reduce your ecological footprint and protect the environment. Learn more about the relationships between global, national and individual ecological footprints.