We've Already Used Up All Of Earth's Resources For 2018 - What Now?
By August 1, 2018 we have already used all of the Earth's resources for the year, this is called Earth Overshoot Day
According to overshootday.org, “Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year.”
How do we go through all these resources?
Essentially, humans use up all of the earth’s ecological resources (think, oil) and accumulate waste (think, carbon dioxide and general trash waste which equates to 230 million tons per year - and that’s only in America). Based on how many resources the Earth has to offer, scientists have established an "amount per year" that we can go through before we've totally gone through the Earth's resources. Essentially, after August 1 - we are already using 2019's resources.
America Overshoot Day vs. Earth Overshoot Day
There are also overshoot days that are country specific. America Overshoot Day is the day that the all humans would deplete the resources of the Earth if every human lived like an American. In 2018, America Overshoot Day was March 15. Interestingly enough, however, Qatar overshoot day falls the earliest of them all at Feb 9, 2018 and Vietnam is the latest at Dec. 21, 2018.
What's significant about Earth Overshoot Day 2018 is that it’s the earliest that it’s ever been. In 2017, Earth overshoot day fell on August 2, 2018 which really isn’t that much of a significant change year over year. But, looking back at 1977, for instance, Earth overshoot day was November 1. So in the past 41 years, it’s jumped ahead 92 days. At this rate, by the year 2059, if it kept the same growth rate, Earth Overshoot Day would fall sometime in April. However, the odds of it increasing at the same rate as it has been is slim. Likely, it would increase faster. This begs the question of, "how can we fix this?"
With this new awareness, our duty as humans is to work to decrease our own individual carbon footprints. Overshootday.org says that we need to re-think the way we build cities, use energy, produce and distribute food, and how we populate our planet. The practical steps we can take today are doing things like recycling, using less trash (re-using plates and cups, opting out of single use items), donate to #movethedate of Earth Overshoot Day, and do things like reaching out to a local government to start really paying attention to our planet. Together, the little things we do can build up to increase our global carbon footprints and we can make the world a better place for all of us to live.
Be sure to check out overshootday.org for more information.
Let us know what steps you're taking to reduce your carbon footprint in the comments section below.
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