We’ve Blown Nature’s Budget for the Year

As of today – August 22nd – humanity has blown nature’s budget for the year. In just eight months, we’ve used more resources than the planet can regenerate. In fact, we’d need 1.5 Earths worth of resources to sustain our current level of consumption.

To draw attention to this striking fact, Earth Day Network partners Global Footprint Network have dubbed today Earth Overshoot Day.

Global Footprint Network tracks the planet’s supply of natural resources and humanity’s demand for them, much the same way a bank statement tracks income against expenditures. By their calculations, we’re operating in overdraft for the rest of the year.

We’re often told that what we’re doing to the planet is unsustainable, but Earth Overshoot Day drives that point home in a way that’s clear and easy to understand: As of today, we’re running a deficit for the year. And every year, Earth Overshoot Day comes earlier and earlier. Common sense should tell us that this will have dire consequences down the road.

What can you do to help?

You can start by taking this quiz to calculate your own ecological footprint and get tips on how you can adjust your behavior to create a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle.

Then, help spread awareness by telling your friends about Earth Overshoot Day and having them take the quiz at the link above. You can post a Facebook status update and use this link: http://bit.ly/O4xq8l. And you can join the conversation on Twitter by tweeting @EndOvershoot using the hashtag #OvershootDay. 

Image Credit: Global Footprint Network, National Footprint Accounts, 2011 edition. Available at www.footprintnetwork.org.