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It’s Earth Overshoot Day! – 2nd August


Today marks the day that the Earth has used up its annual amount of natural resources for the whole of 2017, which includes water, clean air and soils.

This date has been calculated by the Global Footprint Network and is said to be the earliest ‘overshoot’ day so far.

This means for the next five months, any resources used will be unsustainable and the global population will be in ‘credit’ until the amount of resources available renews again in January. Humans are taking more from nature then can be renewed over the year.

In order to accommodate humanity and its current use of resources, 1.7 planets would be needed to produce enough natural resources to match the consumption rate.

Last year overshoot day came at a later date of 8th August, however this is something which has been calculated since 1986 and it has never landed as early as this year. When it first began overshoot day hit in November and gradually became earlier over the decades.

The score for individual countries is more shocking however, as some of the richest countries in the world such as Luxemburg and Qatar would run out of resources by the middle of February. The UK would last slightly later until the 4th May whereas Honduras and Cuba could last until December.

 In order to reduce the increasingly early overshoot day, it has been advised that people need to eat less meat, burn less fuel and cut back on food waste to reverse the process. Estimates have shown that if people were more careful about what they eat, the food part of carbon footprints could be reduced from 26% to 16%.

For more information and to calculate your own personal Overshoot day, click here.

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