The year 2020 has been an eventful year for every person on this planet. If Mother Earth could speak verbally, she would go as far as saying that this has been the best year she has had in a very long time. That is because mankind and economies have slowed down to battle the attack of the deadly COVID-19.
However, thanks to COVID, the Earth Overshoot Day 2020 has been pushed 3 weeks further than what it was in 2019. In 2019 July 29th marked EOD vs August 22nd in 2020. Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate that year. Simply speaking, it is the date that all the resources allocated by the Earth to sustain humanity for that year has been consumed. This doesn’t mean that resources are not available anymore. It means we are approaching the depletion of these resources faster than the earth can reproduce to sustain us. We are living in credit with the planet.
The Earth Overshoot Day is determined by Global Footprint Network. It is computed by dividing the planet’s biocapacity by humanity’s Ecological Footprint, and multiplying by 365, the number of days in a year, or 366 for leap year
(Earth’s Biocapacity ÷ Humanity’s Ecological Footprint) x 366 = Earth Overshoot Day
Biocapacity is the ability of ecosystems to renew themselves. Ecological Footprint is the impact our life has on the environment. In other words, biocapacity is what the Earth gives us and ecological footprint is what we give back to Earth. It is needless to say there is no match and unfortunately, we are nowhere closer to matching. However, the good news is that efforts can be made to reduce the disparity.
While in 1971 we were well within our limits in consuming bounties provided by Mother Earth, it is evident from statistics that we can barely last half a year, if things go on the way they are. Imagine 7 billion people using double the resources the Earth can provide. Today we require 1.75 Earths to satisfy our wants for one year.
The Global Footprint Network has initiated #MoveTheDate. It is a campaign focused on moving the date for Earth Overshoot Day by using less energy and resources and reducing waste in the hopes of getting out of global overshoot, one day. You can find more resources to be a part of this movement in the sources links given below.
Our current choices and careful decisions can make a significant impact on changing the natural resource consumption trend. It is important that we look to the future of our children/grandchildren and leave behind a safe, healthy and most essentially a renewable world. At Green Schools Green Future, we think it is important to educate the world about the climate crisis and stand as an example to make positive changes. We aim to educate children about sustainable ways of living and adopting them in their day to day life for a healthier, greener living.
To learn more about us and support us in our green missions, click here.
Written by Kritika Rao