Earth Overshoot Day
Albert Einstein was a wise man, so an organisation called Global Footprint Network decided to look and found out that Earth Overshoot Day comes earlier each year and it is not good. But what is Earth Overshoot Day?
It marks the date each year then we - all of humanity - have used more from nature that our planet Earth can renew in an entire year. This year the day came on August 1 as opposed to August 2 in 2017. How is that calculated though?
The day is determined by calculating humanity's total yearly consumption, or ecological footprint, and comparing it to Earth's biocapacity, or its capacity to regenerate renewable natural resources. Basically, we have used up Earth's full budget, and for the rest of the year we are maintaining our deficit by drawing down resource stocks and accumulating carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Or said otherwise, we are operating on overshoot.
Global Footprint Network calculates nations' ecological footprint and Earth's biocapacity with the goal to make ecological limits central to decision-making by raising awareness and providing the necessary analytics, insights and tools to make this happen. To come up with the numbers they use National Footprint Accounts, which are based on UN statistics and measure the ecological resource use and resource capacity of nations over time.
The Global Footprint Network has furthermore undertaken the #MoveTheDate initiative to raise awareness about the topic and drive people to take action in four main areas: food - by sourcing foods locally, avoiding highly processed foods and focusing on a more plant-based diet, cities - by implementing city planning and urban development strategies that balance natural resources, population - by addressing population growth through empowering and educating people, and energy, by taking steps to reduce our carbon footprint by increasing the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.
Check out the graph above for the Earth Overshoot Day per country (Vietnam holding the lead), and guess what? Of course there is a calculator where you can calculate your personal Earth overshoot day. So go check it out here and see what you can do to #MoveTheDate. :)