Earth Overshoot Day, also known as Ecological Debt Day, is the approximate calendar date on which humanity’s resource consumption for the year exceeds Earth’s capacity to regenerate those resources that year. It is the day our demands on the planet`s natural resources exceed its capacity for every year. Ecological Debt Day is calculated by dividing the world biocapacity (the amount of natural resources generated by Earth that year), by the world Ecological Footprint (humanity’s consumption of Earth’s natural resources for that year), and multiplying by 365, the number of days in one Gregorian calendar year:
Ecological Debt Day= (World Biocapacity / World ecological Footprint) X 365
Every year, WWF’s (World Wildlife Fund) partner the Global Footprint Network calculates the date by which our resource consumption for a given year exceeds the planet’s ability to replenish. 20.08.2013 was this year’s Earth Overshoot Day. In the first eight months of 2013, we have exhausted the natural resources that should last all year. We are now dipping into resources that we cannot afford to use. While only a rough estimate of time and resource trends, Ecological Debt Day is as close as science can be to measuring the gap between human demand for ecological resources and services, and how much Earth can provide.
In 1993, Earth Overshoot Day, the approximate date our resource consumption for a given year exceeds the planet’s ability to replenish, fell on October 21. In 2003, Overshoot Day was on September 22. This year it was on August 20. Given current trends in consumption, one thing is clear: Earth Overshoot Day arrives a few days earlier each year. Overshoot Day is a bold indication that now is the time to fight harder to create a world where we all live within our ecological limits.
Let us all use our resources wisely!