Quietly and secretly, without rolling out the red carpet, it's back: Earth Overshoot Day! The day on which we as humans have consumed more resources than the earth can restore within a year. This year, Earth Overshoot Day falls on 01.08.2018. This is the earliest date of the global overshoot since the beginning of the calculation in 1970. The calculations of the Global Footprint Network are frightening.
We'd already need several planets to absorb our consumption habits. And yet there is still hope. Together we can shift this date and stand up for a sustainable future. #MoveTheDate
The overshoot in Germany
Unfortunately, the industrial nations consume precious resources much faster than other countries. Imagine buying three different types of ice cream at hot temperatures, one for today, one for tomorrow and one for the day after tomorrow. The next time you open the ice box, they're all empty, but nobody has eaten them. That's how it works in Europe at the moment. The Earth Overshoot Day in Germany was already on 02.05.2018, but unfortunately Germany still hasn't given up the spoon with the delicious ice cream.
How to calculate overshoot
First, the earth's biocapacity is determined as the basis for our calculation. The biocapacity indicates how many resources earth can renew and how many pollutants (e.g. greenhouse gases) can be neutralised. The biocapacity is then compared with the global ecological footprint. If humanity's consumption of resources is greater than the Earth's capacity, we speak of "overshoot" - ecological indebtedness.
This value is then determined for each year on the basis of a scale. Currently, CO2 consumption accounts for around 60% of the overshoot. Of course there is also criticism of the method, which admittedly has its weaknesses, but let's be honest, in the end remains: Humanity consumes far more resources than earth can tolerate.
Calculate your personal overshoot day
We have a global problem. How you contribute as an individual remains unclear. But you have the chance to calculate your own overshoot.
Please, share your thoughts and discuss your results in the comments!
And what an I do?
There are many ways to get involved. Already by drawing attention to the phenomenon you have taken a first step. Share this article to attract attention. You can have a more plant-based diet, travel more responsibly, get involved with the garbage problem in Europe or even look twice when buying your clothes.
We can reverse the trend. If we take an ambitious approach and postpone Earth Overshoot Day by 4.5 days each year, by 2050 we would be living within the capacity of our planet again.
You can also find more concrete steps at
What should we do to significantly postpone Earth Overshoot Day in Germany?