In this study, the effects of economic growth, renewable and non-renewable energy production and trade openness on ecological footprint for Turkey were investigated. By using the annual data for the period 1980–2016, the short- and long-term relationship with the Autoregressive Distributed Lag Model (ARDL) was examined. In addition, a prediction model is presented with the Multivariate Gray Prediction Model (NMGM) method. According to the findings obtained from the ARDL model, economic growth, renewable and non-renewable energy production have a positive effect of 0.166, 0.1431 and 0.1118, respectively, on the ecological footprint in the long run. In the short run, economic growth, renewable energy production and non-renewable energy production has the same effect of 0.1941, 0.1673 and 0.1308 on the ecological footprint. In addition, no effect of trade openness on the ecological footprint has been detected, both in the long and short run. The originality of this study is to investigate the short- and long-term effects of economic growth and trade openness on the ecological footprint, in addition to the amount of renewable energy production and non-renewable energy production in Turkey, using the ARDL model. In addition, another originality of this study is a dynamic evaluation of the ecological footprint for Turkey and the determination of the impact values of the variables that affect the ecological footprint. ARIMA models, in which the dependent variable is estimated with its own past values, are generally used as estimation models. Likewise, univariate gray estimation models also make estimations with the dependent variable's own past values. Another unique aspect of this study is the use of a gray estimation model, in which the variables that have been shown to have a significant short- and long-term relationship with ARDL are also included in the model.