Earth Overshoot Day: “We consume like we have 1.7 Earths”

WWF- (World Wildlife Fund) reminds us that on Global Overshoot Day, which is set for July 28 this year, we are starting to borrow from the future, having consumed one year’s worth of natural resources offered to us by the Earth as of today.

Global Overshoot Day, known as the day we consume one year’s worth of natural resources that the Earth offers us, has been set as July 28 this year. Data from the Global Footprint Network, which conducts research evaluating the renewable resources on Earth and human demand for these resources, showed that we have consumed a year’s worth of natural resources offered to us by our world as of July 28 this year. This date is one day before the date in 2021.

Starting today, we will consume more than the earth’s capacity to be renewed in a year. In other words, we will owe our future.

We are using 75% more resources than ecosystems can replenish

Since it was first calculated in the 1970s, only in 2020 was the Global Overshoot Day moved forward by three weeks due to pandemic restrictions. However, this change was short-lived. Following the pandemic, the extreme weather events caused by the climate crisis and the crisis conditions caused by the Ukraine-Russia war once again showed how important natural resources are for our future. Social and economic recovery after these recent crises is only possible through the efficient use of ecological resources. However, as humanity, we use 75% more natural resources than ecosystems can renew and consume as if we have “1.75 Earths”.

Using our resources more effectively is only possible #Together

For more than half a century, we have been consuming beyond the earth’s limits. This has led to a global loss of biodiversity, an increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, food and energy crises, and more frequent disasters such as heat waves, droughts, extreme weather events, large forest fires and floods.

Reversing the trend is not only possible, but also offers economic benefits that will make it easier for decision-makers. With small changes, we can postpone the Overshoot date. According to Global Footprint Network calculations, one of the most effective measures is to reduce automobile use. If the carbon footprint caused by automobile use is reduced by 50% and one-third of this distance is covered by public transportation and the rest by walking or cycling, the World Overshoot Day can be postponed by 13 days.

We are in the midst of a food crisis due to war and crisis conditions. If food waste is reduced by half all over the world, the World Overshoot Day can be moved forward by 13 days. In this period when we are struggling with extreme temperatures and increasing forest fires, we can slow down this trend by regaining the forests we have lost. If 350 million hectares of forest areas are reclaimed worldwide, we can postpone this date by 8 days.  This means that for every 45 million hectares of forest area to be reclaimed, the date of the Limit Exceedance can be postponed by 1 day.