What is Earth Overshoot Day?

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The tough job of setting boundaries with young humans.

Welcome to the Earth Overshoot Reality! Here, we eat and drink until we fall asleep chewing. Here, we trample bushes and flowers until the ground is mud. Here, we hope the garbage woman and cleaning man will not only come and clean up all the mess tomorrow morning, but also replant, regrow, rebuild overnight all the flora and fauna that disappeared (unexpectedly?!).

The average temperature is 23°C, and days over 40°C are not uncommon in Europe. Coral reefs are gone, polar bears are gone, tigers, lions, koalas and pandas are long gone too. It’s us, the cockroaches and Iggy Pop (because he doesn’t die).

Back to our own reality. Today, August 2nd, 2017, marks the day humanity will start spending more ecological resources than our planet can naturally handle or renew for this year.

Earth Overshoot Day links the challenges our ecosystem faces to the human ways of living and production. The Global Footprint Network uses this measurement to raise awareness on the discrepancy between our consumption of resources and what our planet can provide.

Ecological footprint applies to individuals (Yes, you. Yes, me), to regions (Yes, your country.) and to the entire planet (yes, your Earth).

Earth Overshoot Days since their inception
Here’s a progress we don’t like to see (Credit: Global Footprint Network)

This day has been creeping up earlier and earlier on our calendars. In 1987 this day was the 19th of December. This year it is today, 2nd of August.

That’s 140 days earlier in 30 years.

Systemic change and individual change do not oppose, like some people would have you believe. They go hand in hand. Businesses have to act as well as individuals if we want to see a non-dystopian future.

And by the way, it’s not time to choose which is better than the other. Climate change is here, is now and requires us all to roll our sleeves.

Pick a future.

#MovetheDate #PlanA

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