Today is Earth Overshoot Day, but it’s nothing to celebrate

Today is Earth Overshoot Day, which means that we’ve used all of nature’s budget of resources for this year and are now taxing the planet beyond its ability to replenish its resources. What’s even more worrying is the fact that this year it has arrived earlier than ever – and we are now using resources 1.75 times as fast as our planet’s ecosystems can regenerate.

Various elements contribute to a country’s footprint: grazing land, forest product impact, fishing grounds, cropland, built-up land and finally carbon footprint.

A country’s overshoot day is the date on which Earth Overshoot Day would fall if all of humanity consumed like the people in this country. Countries’ overshoot dates vary widely. For example, If everybody in the world lived like the average EU resident, we would have used up nature’s budget for the year by May 10, and would need 2.8 planets. The EU’s impact on the planet’s resources is inequitable: The EU uses almost 20% of the Earth’s biocapacity although it comprises only 7% of the world’s population. (Find your country’s date and read more here.)

When the concept was launched in 2006, the first global Earth Overshoot Day fell as far back as October. On the official Overshoot Day website, you’ll find a lot of ideas about what you can do to push back Earth Overshoot Day. How about taking a vegan challenge, downsizing your wardrobe or cycling to work during the summer?

It’s high time we all took some action on this so we can try to #MoveTheDate. Run your personal footprint calculation and make your personal commitment. Why not make it a competition with friends?