This paper evaluates current trends in the use of global environmental resources using the example of selected countries and the following aggregated indicator – the ecological footprint that monitors the use of natural resources and the global environmental burden. Results showed that there are major differences between countries; not only between developed and developing countries but also between economically strong countries. Herein, we identify the key countries and describe their efforts to improve the environmental situation and reduce their ecological footprint. The global ecological footprint is not decreasing; in most countries it is increasing or unchanged, and strategic decisions on nature protection are a pressing reality. The United States and China are the most important of the monitored countries because their future decisions can have the greatest impact on international environmental protection. The pressure on their policy-making choices should be greatest and monitoring their ecological footprint and informing the public and responsible authorities should lead to appropriate changes.