Last month, you probably couldn’t get online without reading something about Earth Overshoot Day. Companies and brands went neck-deep promoting the dire situation we’re in, considering our 2019’s Earth Overshoot Day landed, well, six months before the end of the year. If you’re wondering what the true significance of that is, look no further, because we’re going to tell you what Earth Overshoot Day is and what this year’s date means for human population.
Global Footprint Network describes Earth Overshoot Day as, “the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources (fish and forests, for instance) and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year.” When we accumulated waste, primarily carbon dioxide, we grow that deficit.
Earth Overshoot Day changes every year, since each year has a rise and fall of resources, population, etc., which directly affect how much carbon dioxide is emitted. Because Earth Overshoot Day fell on July 29 in 2019, that signifies we’ve overshot our environment by nearly six months this year. That equals six months of resources that can not be regenerated within this year. *Cue thoughts of horror resembling Interstellar’s earth.*
While this fact is a lil freaky, it does make sense, considering the earth's population has increased a whopping 104% since 1970 and 60% of humanity's Ecological Footprint is carbon.
Don’t start building your bunker just yet. Thankfully, it is technologically possible to #MoveTheDate! We’re going to explain the large-scale ways that companies are making change and helping #MoveTheDate in an upcoming blog, but the ways that you can help move the date right now are pretty simple.
Go (Partially or Fully) Vegan
Many people don’t want to face this fact, but animal products are much less sustainable. EOD specifically describes animal calories being, “significantly more resource intensive than plant calories to produce.” Will it really kill you to eat a veggie burger? No, no it will not.
Equip Your Home’s Energy with Wind Power
Wind power is cost-effective, creates jobs, and is a clean fuel source. Using solar panels or a service such as Arcadia Power to power your electric through wind power makes a drastic difference! You can switch to half or full wind power at nearly the same price you’re already paying.
Any time I’m in a city, nearly everyone uses some sort of ride sharing method. The moment I’m in a less urban area, everyone scoffs at the costs. If you take gas, parking, and car miles into account, the cost for a shared ride really isn’t that bad. Taking a pool ride might feel initially uncomfortable, but you can rest easy knowing your carbon footprint is getting smaller and smaller with every mile traveled. The obvious other option is walking or biking to nearby destinations—good for you and good for the planet!
The thing about moving Earth Overshoot Day is that it requires change. We know that change is hard, but don’t get stressed thinking you have to change or be perfectly sustainable overnight! A sustainable future requires simply doing what you can, and influencing others to do the same.
Statistics pulled from Overshoot Day.