What’s Going On Here?
This year Earth Overshoot Day falls on the 29th July, less than 8 months into the year.
Earth Overshoot Day is the day on which humanity has used all the resources (carbon, crops, water, and more) which the earth can provide in a whole year. Last year was the first time that the date moved backwards (to August 22nd) as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, but sadly this year shows nothing has really changed.
What Does This Mean?
To calculate Earth Overshoot Day, the Global Footprint Network measures the world’s biocapacity (that is biologically productive land and sea area, such as forests, farmland, and fishing areas) and compares this with our footprint (demand for resources).
In just under 8 months, we have used all the ecological resources which the planet has to offer, meaning after today we are living unsustainably. As society is currently living, we would need 1.7 earths to sustain us. Of course, this isn’t the case for every country in the world – some are using far more than their share of resources whilst others actually contribute biocapacity.
Why Should We Care?
This level of consumption is clearly unsustainable, and with the climate crisis hitting the headlines recently due to the extreme weather events being experienced around the world, it’s only too obvious that we need to make a change.
Earth Overshoot Day suggest focusing on five key areas to find the solutions we need:
- Energy: how we power ourselves
- Cities: how we design and manage cities
- Planet: how we help nature thrive
- Food: how we feed ourselves
- Population: how many of us there are
With the COP26 crucial climate talks taking place this November, we have a real opportunity to commit to strong actions for the climate. We have the solutions, we just need the political will to make it happen.
We can all take individual actions to cut our carbon footprints and help #MoveTheDate
- Check out the Global Footprint Network and Earth Overshoot Day websites for more info and to find lots of top tips for going greener.
- Go vegan or aim to reduce your meat and dairy consumption – cutting meat consumption by 50% would save 17 days.
- Commit to green travel by pledging to go flight free and to walk, cycle, or use public transport wherever you can – cutting driving by 50% would save 14 days.
- Make the Switch – change to a renewable energy provider and switch your pension and your banking to an ethical provider – using existing green energy technologies could save 21 days.
- Make space for nature – make your garden wildlife-friendly, plant trees if you can, and ensure you buy responsibly sourced products – reforesting 350million trees would save 8 days.
- Use your Voice – join in with online campaigns, join a local community activist group, sign petitions, and contact your MP to let them know you want urgent climate action now.