Today 29th July is Earth Overshoot Day
Unfortunately with 156 days still to go in the year, today is the day humanity has officially exhausted earth's natural resources for the whole year.
Why does this matter? Well for the next 156 days we are in debt to the planet and consuming more resources than the planet can regenerate. Each year we are using the resources of 1.6 earths, and each year this date is getting earlier and earlier. Just 50 years ago we were able to get all the way to December 30th before we hit Earth Overshoot Day.
The good news is that this is easily reversible, and this is proved by last year, Earth Overshoot day didn’t come until August 22nd. The last time we saw Overshoot day come that late in the year was back in 2005. Yes ok we were in lockdown for a good portion of the year, but it does prove what can be achieved.
It’s more important than ever to choose sustainable products because we simply cannot continue consuming resources at this rate.
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If we cut down our carbon emissions by half, earth overshoot day would come 93 days later in the year. Even if we can’t immediately cut our emissions by half, if we could just make a few changes and move the date back by 5 days each year, by 2050 we will be using less than one planet's resources.
Here are 5 ways to help push the date back*
Help to reforest the planet. By planting 350 million hectares of forest, we could push Earth Overshoot Day back by 8 days.
If we reduce the amount we drive or switch to electric vehicles to reduce our footprint by 50%, use public transport more often, walk or bike, then Earth Overshoot day would move back 13 days.
If we can properly utilise existing off-the-shelf, commercial technologies for buildings, industrial processes, and electricity production, we could move Earth Overshoot Days by at least 21 days, without any loss in productivity or comfort, according to research from Global Footprint Network & Schneider Electric.
By cutting our food waste in half, and reducing our meat consumption by 50%, we would move Earth Overshoot day back by 30 days.
If each family had on average 1.8 children compared to 2.3 children we currently have & family planning started 2 years later, our population would be at 7.7 billion by 2050 instead of the projected 9.7 billion, and Earth Overshoot day would be moved back by 49 days.