The 20th of August - humans consume more than planet can produce for the year

overshootday2013--300x145There are only so many natural resources the earth can supply and today we’ve gone over our annual limit. Earth Overshoot Day is the point in the year when humans have used as much nature, such as land, trees and fish, as the planet’s ecosystems can regenerate.


For the rest of the year the earth will be “overdrawn,” meaning we will be depleting the oceans and land and building up waste such as carbon dioxide. According to figures sourced by the Global Footprint Network, an independent think tank based in the United States, Switzerland, and Belgium, the first time that human consumption outstripped the planet’s capability to produce was December 29 1970. Since then the date has been creeping forward each year.

The UK consumes and produces waste at a rate three and a half times greater than it can sustain.If everybody were to live like United States residents, it would take four times the earth’s resources to support the global population.China’s total ecological footprint is smaller, per capita, than in Europe or North America but its footprint is the heaviest in the world in raw size, because of its huge population.


To learn more about Earth Overshoot Day and how it is calculated, go to:


How much land area does it take to support your lifestyle? Take this quiz:

To calculate your own personal Ecological Footprint, and learn what you can do to reduce it, go to:

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