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#MoveTheDate 2019

Earth Overshoot Day is on July 29th this year.

Earth Overshoot Day is an important environmental day to learn about. This day gives us an idea how much of the earth’s resources we are using annually. Or better yet, it predicts on what day we will have used all of the natural resources that earth can provide in a year’s time. In a perfect world Earth Overshoot Day would be as late in the year as possible because we are living sustainably. But that’s not the case. Humans use far more resources than the earth can replace/renew in a year. In other words, we are stealing natural resources from our future selves.

Every year, Earth Overshoot Day can land on a different day. That’s because the calculations that predict this day are based on how people in the world are currently living. So not only is it subject to change but it directly correlates to our lifestyle choices. Here are the factors considered when calculating Earth Overshoot Day:

  • The ecological footprint “measures how much demand human consumption places on the biosphere. It is measured in standard units called global hectares.”1 One hectare is approximately 107,639 square feet.
  • The biocapacity “is the area of productive land available to produce resources or absorb carbon dioxide waste, given current management practices. Biocapacity is measured in standard units called global hectares.”1
  • “An ecological deficit occurs when the Ecological Footprint of a population exceeds the biocapacity of the area available to that population. A national ecological deficit means that the nation is importing biocapacity through trade, liquidating national ecological assets or emitting carbon dioxide waste into the atmosphere.”1
  • “An ecological reserve exists when the biocapacity of a region exceeds its population’s Ecological Footprint.”1

The Global Footprint Network is responsible for the work behind calculating the Earth Overshoot Date. With all of these different factors, you can see why every country has a unique set of results. To view the data that they came up with this year, click here.

Knowing the Earth Overshoot Day makes us accountable and aware of our behaviors. It turns something that is usually hard to visualize into something that is digestible and easier to understand. With the given data, we can set objectives of what we would like to do or prevent for the following year. After all, being able to project these kind of predictions should be utilized somehow.

Many people may not know about #MoveTheDate but it is an effort to change our lifestyle behaviors so that we are living more sustainably. As it is, earth will not be able to sustain life as we know it beyond 2050. It goes without saying that there will be many issues leading up to that point if we don’t act now. To learn more about moving the date back and how you can initiate change check out some Solutions here.

To get an idea of how your lifestyle affects the earth, calculate your ecological footprint here.

1 http://data.footprintnetwork.org/

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Earth Overshoot Day

Yesterday was World Environment Day and it was awesome to see how many more people are becoming eco-conscious. The environmental conversation is becoming more prominent. People want to learn more and they want to get involved. Days like yesterday are meant to invoke thoughts like how we treat our environment, what is our connection to it, and how can our everyday behavior help sustain it?

It’s actually not that easy to grasp and there’s an explanation for this.  Environmental science encompasses several sciences. It includes studies of biology, chemistry, geology, physics, ecology, and many other natural sciences, their relationship to each other, and the larger schema they make up. It’s basically a lot to scientifically keep up with especially because the world is ever-changing in nature.

An important discussion in the environmental world (no pun intended) is collecting and analyzing data to interpret human behavior, the damage done to the environment, and how we can remediate that. One way that people can do that now is by Greening At the Local Level and calculating their ecological footprint. This is important because it allows you to understand which parts of your everyday life are contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. The excess of greenhouse gases warm the atmosphere and cause climate change; a later domino effect of changes like food disparities, soil erosion (growing deserts), wildlife adapting to different habitats, and many, many others can be observed around the world.

Now, what is Earth Overshoot Day and how is it relevant?  This is the day that our annual consumption demands exceed what the earth can regenerate in a year—within nature’s means.

Formerly known as Ecological Debt Day, the world’s average overshoot day is August 2nd which leaves us at a big deficit. For the rest of each year we are producing more greenhouse gases than the environment can cycle naturally. Every year the overshoot date may change depending on the consumption rates analyzed. See image below for earth overshoot dates in different parts of the world for 2018. This gives humanity a different perspective of the same concept. Making it easier to understand because not only can we relate it to our everyday lives but we can also draw the connection to how we’re responsible.

global-footprint-network-1525441101gkn48

This year’s earth overshoot date is August 1st. So what are some things you can do to help the cause? The Global Footprint Network is taking a stand to #MoveTheDate. By encouraging people to make small changes in their everyday life, they’re also encouraging that we push the overshoot date back. With doing this, we allow nature to naturally cycle greenhouse gases without an overabundance and that helps the atmosphere from warming.

Some ways to get involved that seem minor but help greatly include:

  • a plant-based diet
  • riding bike
  • collecting trash locally
  • talk to your representatives
  • educate others

What are some ways that you help prevent excess greenhouse gas emissions? Share with us at alyssablooms@gmail.com for an Instagram feature! ✨