Are you an ecological Bigfoot?
Earth Overshoot Day came even earlier this year
We (humans) have consumed 12 months worth of the earth’s resources in only 7 months.
Yesterday - 1 August - was the 2018 Earth Overshoot Day (Global Footprint Network). This marks the day when we have used more of nature's resources than the planet can renew in one year. According to the Global Footprint Network the date has occurred steadily earlier since 1971.
What this means is we are using equivalent of 1.7 planets in terms of the food we eat, the energy we use, how we travel, the water we use at home as well as in industrial and manufacturing processes, the way we manage our waste, the clothes we buy and so forth...
I like the analogy of a bank account. If you think of the things we consume as debits from a bank account, and replenishing these resources as credits, we would have spent all of our annual salary and now living in overdraft.
What's your personal footprint?
Calculating your personal Earth Overshoot Day is an eye-opening exercise. I'm saddened to discover that I am an ecological Bigfoot; mine comes in October. I try to be conscious of my impact, eating a plant-based diet, living in the city and minimising my consumption levels. However, I took a couple of long distance trips last year, one of which could have been avoided. I haven't done any air travel this year so my actual data might be slightly better! I find the reminder that I am not doing enough to live within the means of one planet useful. For example, I have become lazy when it comes to transport, getting in the car instead of on my bicycle and I will do some research in to a more sustainable energy provider.
You can take steps to move the date of Earth Overshoot Day in the future. Check out these helpful steps you can take, including streamlining your wardrobe since clothing makes up 3% of the global Ecological Footprint.