Overshoot Day is the day of the year when humans have exhausted all the biological resources that our planet is able to offer us and regenerate in that year. From that day on, throughout the year we are in deficit of resources and in ecological debt to the Earth.
The analysis is carried out by the Global Footprint Network, an international research organization that calculates the ecological footprint of humanity every year. This year, the day when humanity inexorably exhausted the regenerable resources fell on July 29, almost a month earlier than last year. This reconfirms the negative trend of previous years that had seen a small glimmer of positivity only in 2020 due to the pandemic.
According to WWF: “Humanity currently uses 74% more of the resources that the planet’s ecosystems are able to regenerate”. Which is equivalent to consuming 1.7 Earths per year.
The carbon footprint
The lockdowns on CO2 emissions induced by the pandemic have not allowed us to properly off our planet, the carbon footprint has increased by 6.6% compared to 2020 and the forest biocapacity of the Amazon has decreased by 0.5%. Depleting the Earth’s regenerable resources also means having to cope with numerous negative impacts such as climate change, biodiversity loss and extreme weather events, which are now increasingly frequent and unpredictable.
But, as the #MoveTheDate movement for Overshoot Day states: “the past does not necessarily define our future” so we can still change things. Thanks to wise and far-sighted decisions we can still reverse the trend of resource depletion and at the same time improve our quality of life. The key words are therefore once again sustainability and circular economy; only by applying sustainable policies and acting consciously and responsibly we can pat the debt with our dear planet and live better.