Earth Overshoot Day: We Have Already Used Up All Our Sustainable Resources For The Year

For the rest of 2017, humanity is living on 'credit'
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Our planet's resources are being used up too quickly

Our planet's resources are being used up too quickly

Today - August 2 - marks a frightening day on the calendar. It is Earth Overshoot Day - the day we have used up more of Earth's natural resources than the planet can renew in the whole year.

Humans put increasing demands on the planet and its resources - and it can't keep up. We are simply using more resources than the Earth can regenerate. From this day onwards, every natural resource we use cannot be regenerated.

This works out to humans using 170 per cent of the available supplies every year. And this puts us in a frightening position.

Nature

A statement released by environmental groups WWF and the Global Footprint Network was damning. It said: "By August 2 2017, we will have used more from nature than our planet can renew in the whole year.

"This means that in seven months, we emitted more carbon than the oceans and forests can absorb in a year, we caught more fish, felled more trees, harvested more, and consumed more water than the Earth was able to produce in the same period."

Accelerating

Using up resources too quickly isn't a new phenomenon, but it is an accelerating one, with Earth Overshoot Day happening earlier now than it did 10 years ago when we used 144 per cent of the Earth's biocapacity. 

If you go back to 1963 - we were using a sustainable 78 per cent of capacity. This trend is happening quickly.

This year marks the earliest ever date for the overshoot.

Action

What can you do to help reverse this frightening trend? Environmental organizations recommend eating less meat, burning less fuel and cutting back on food waste.

According to The Global Footprint Network, food makes up 26 per cent of our global footprint. If we cut food waste in half, ate less protein-intensive foods, and ate more fruit and vegetables, it could be reduced to 16 per cent.

You can work out your own ecological footprint using this calculator.

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