Earth Overshoot Day

The 1st of August 2018 is Earth Overshoot Day. This is the date in any year when our demand on the Earth’s resources and productivity exceeds what our planet can regenerate in that year.

The aim of this measurement is to help us move out of ecological deficit, i.e. to move Earth Overshoot Day to the 31st of December, or better still for us not to overspend our resources at all in any given year.

When Earth Overshoot day was first calculated in 2006, it fell in October. Last year it was the 2nd of August. We’ve had a steady downward trend, but at least this is slowing down, only moving one day earlier this year. The good news is there’s lots we can do to help turn the trend around next year and #movethedate.

Currently the UK would need four countries its size to meet the demand of its citizens, and the world needs 1.7 planets to support everyone currently living on it. Our national overshoot day was the 8th of May, meaning we’re dragging down the global average and relying on countries such as Vietnam with December overshoot days to keep the Earth’s ecological deficit down. However, we can fix this by being more mindful about what and how we consume, and how we live our lives day to day.

The Global Footprint Network, who calculate Earth Overshoot Day, suggest a bunch of steps each of us can take to #movethedate, including reducing meat consumption, commuting sustainably, or even simply starting a conversation with a friend.

If you have ideas about how you or the university could work towards moving Earth Overshoot Day later next year, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Cormac Cleary

Cormac Cleary

Sustainable Food Assistant at University of Westminster and Aramark
Cormac Cleary

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