Earth Overshoot Day marks the day when we’ve already used up all of what our planet can regenerate in a year. This year it falls in August – a month earlier than a decade ago. So isn’t it time you pledged to do more?
It’s hard to believe, but at the moment humanity is consuming the resources of 1.7 Earths. In the UK, our economy and way of living means we are actually consuming the resources of three planets – and in America and Australia the level of consumption is akin to living on five planets and five+ planets respectively.
Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity’s annual demand on nature exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year. This year, it falls on August 2nd.. Compare that to 10 years ago, when Earth Overshoot Day was in late September…
Global Footprint Network (GFN), the international research organisation behind Earth Overshoot Day, says if we all cut our carbon footprint by half we would push that date back by about three months – creating the single biggest impact on our ecological footprint.
There are many opportunities for action. For instance, cutting food waste by 50% worldwide could move the date by 11 days, according to GFN. Eating less protein-intensive food worldwide could move Overshoot Day 31 days. You can find out more here.
But cutting our carbon footprint is still the single biggest impact we can have on meeting that obligation. According to GFN, reducing the carbon component of humanity’s ecological footprint by 50% would move Earth Overshoot Day by 89 days – or about three months.
Of course, the 2015 Paris Accord on Climate puts a responsibility on governments around the world to cap the global temperature rise at below 2°C (or even 1.5°C) and even though the US government has backtracked on that commitment many US cities, states and large businesses are redoubling their commitments. In addition, China, the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world, is committed to building an Ecological Civilization in its latest five-year plan.
So how can you play your part?
If you are an organisation, the first thing you should be doing is measuring and reporting your carbon footprint. Once you’ve done that you need to set targets to help you do reduce your carbon footprint. We recommend you set annual targets. If you don’t know how to measure and report your carbon we’ve created a Beginners Guide to Carbon Footprinting to help you get started.
If you are individual, GFN has created a user friendly online carbon calculator that will give you a good idea of your size of your footprint and where you’re biggest impacts are.
For more information about Earth Overshoot Day visit the website.
For more information about The Planet Mark™ and how to cut your organisation’s carbon footprint please visit The Planet Mark™ website or contact us directly.