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Earth Overshoot Day 2017 is on Aug. 2

Have you heard of the Ecological Footprint and Earth Overshoot Day?

Our Ecological Footprint is how much we demand from nature. Currently, humanity is using the equivalent of 1.7 planets.

Every year, Global Footprint Network calculates Earth Overshoot Day. It marks the date when humanity’s demand on nature exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year.

In 2000, Earth Overshoot day fell in late September and in 2017 it falls on August 2nd.

You can think about this as a bank account. For the first 7 months and 2 days in 2017, we lived on our regular salary, after that we start chipping into our savings or racking up credit card debt. Hmm, seems like there is something wrong with that math.

The Ecological Footprint measures how much land and water area we need to produce the resources we use, things like food, land for settlements, timber, seafood, and to absorb the wastes and carbon dioxide we generate.

Our biocapacity is the amount of biologically productive areas such as forests, fishing grounds, crop and grazing areas that are available to provide the resources we use and to absorb our waste. We can compare Footprint and biocapacity to see if we are well balanced or not.

Why do we care about humanity’s Ecological Footprint?

The costs of ecological overspending are evident every day in the form of deforestation, drought, biodiversity loss and the buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Ecological overspending also can put nations at more economic risk. Without sufficient resources, it is hard to operate an economy. Or we have to import more which has costs as well.

Carbon emissions from fossil fuel use are a big part of today’s Footprint. Today, humanity’s carbon footprint makes up 60% of the world’s total Ecological Footprint.

Individuals can measure their own Ecological Footprint with Global Footprint Network’s new calculator. Mine is 3.5 global hectares.

In fact, you can even calculate the date of your own Overshoot Day, the day when the world would go into ecological overshoot if everyone on the planet lived like you. If your Overshoot Day falls before August 2nd, that means your Ecological Footprint is larger than the world average.

You can learn more about sustainability solutions by joining the Earth Overshoot Day #movethedate campaign. Make pledges to take actions to move back the date of Earth Overshoot Day and share pledges and the calculator with your friends and family.

If we can move the date of Overshoot Day 4.5 days per year, we will be living sustainably on our one planet Earth by 2050.

Help #movethedate ! Calculate your own Ecological Footprint and Overshoot Day today! Visit www.overshootday.org.

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