Earth overshoot day marks the date when humans have used more from nature than the earth can give back in that entire year. As we become more and more people on this planet and consume more and more resources, the date is arriving earlier each year. At the current rate of resource exploitation, we would need 1.7 earths for our actions to be sustainable.
Through overfishing, overharvesting forests and emitting more greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere than the ecosystems can absorb, we have used more natural resources and services than the nature can regenerate. The organization behind World Overshoot Day, the Global Footprint Network (GFN), says that in 1997 The Earth Overshoot Day fell in September. A grave reminder that the earth’s resources are pressed harder and harder each year.
The Earth Overshoot Day is calculated by an average of all countries’ resource usage, but at the same time, the GFN makes a list to show when the date comes for each country separately. The largest resource consumer on the list, Qatar, experienced its Earth Overshoot Day already the 9th of February, while Vietnam at the other side of the spectrum will experience their Overshoot Day on December 21st.
The Earth Overshoot Day comes every year as an important reminder to meet the future in a more sustainable way. By creating more sustainable solutions as a way to take better care of our planet, we might be able to push the Earth Overshoot date back in the years to come.