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'
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.


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."


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.


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.


Tyson Foods And Other Meat Giants Blamed For Planet's Largest Dead Zone

Vegan Farming? The So-Called Trendy Farming from Millennials

Only 20% Of Brits Know Animal Agriculture Is Major Cause Of Climate Change

Reuse this contentBack to top of the page
PBN Contributor:

Maria is a former magazine editor and newspaper reporter. She has specialized in writing content for the plant-based sector for several years, as well as reporting on agriculture, politics and regional news. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaChiorando and Instagram @mariachiorando.

Since you're here...
...we’ve got a small favour to ask. Plant Based News is a FREE service that receives millions of views each week across Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, our weekly newsletter and this website. This takes a lot of our personal time, money and hard work. But we do it because we KNOW it makes a difference. If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps to support it, our future would be much more secure.

support our work

Join the conversation

You may also like:

August 16, 2017

German International School In India Puts Vegan Food On Menu

According to a spokesman staff felt it wasn't right ethically to consume animals

June 27, 2017

Prestigious French Food Award Given To Vegan Chef For First Time Ever

The award shows a growing respect for plant-based cuisine

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself. 

Follow us on social media: