Earth Overshoot Day: Best ways to #movethedate

What were you doing on August 2? That day was Earth Overshoot Day – the day on which we have used up all natural resources on the planet for this year. The remainder of the year is overconsumption. If we would all consume just the resources that the planet has available, the day would fall on December 31 – in other words, we would not cannibalize resources.

Every year, the date falls earlier. Surprisingly, in 1987, the day still fell in December – on December 19, to be precise. Since then, our consumption of natural resources has dramatically increased – bringing Earth Overshoot Day forward into August as of 2010.

With EOD, delays and pushbacks are a good thing. So, what can we all do to push back this date and ‘Think Planet’? Here are some of the best possible actions.

Radisson Blu Hotel Berlin’s signature vegetarian dish
Radisson Blu Hotel Berlin’s signature vegetarian dish

Diet: love your greenies

Diet choices and cutting food waste are powerful sustainability levers. Vegetarian meals are light on carbon and water.

It takes 14 times as much biologically productive land to produce 1 ton of beef as it takes to produce 1 ton of grain. Furthermore, global livestock is responsible for 9% of all human generated carbon emissions. To put it bluntly, reducing meat consumption is a great way to reduce our ecological (carbon and water) footprint.

Additionally, sourcing food locally and avoiding highly processed foods can lower your ecological footprint.

Panda power plant in Datong, China      China Merchants New Energy/Panda Green Energy
Panda power plant in Datong, China China Merchants New Energy/Panda Green Energy

Energy: move to renewables

Decarbonizing the economy is our best possible chance to address climate change and would improve the balance between our ecological footprint and the planet’s renewable natural resources.

Operating on renewable energy is one of the best ways to decarbonize our businesses and our lives. Luckily, more and more positive news reaches us with regards to renewables.

For example:

  • In June 2017, renewables provided over 50% of U.K. electricity.
  • The country of Portugal recently ran for four days straight on renewable energy alone.
  • Some companies already run 100% on renewables: Google will reach 100% renewable energy for its global operations in 2017.

Transportation: travel light and together

Use public transportation where possible. Why not take the train to your next business meeting, walk, cycle, run… It helps to consider the total – door to door – travel time of a trip. For many European trips, for example, a high-speed train is faster than a short flight. 

Here’s a funny clip about public transport that will make you smile.

Calculate your ecological footprint (the calculation is more holistic than just a carbon footprint calculation, so you will definitely be unpleasantly surprised by your footprint…) and learn more about Earth Overshoot Day.

Let’s all get moving: #movethedate