We consume almost twice as many resources as Earth can produce in the same time period, leading to a depletion of resources and negative externalities such as Carbon Footprint and the loss of biodiversity. A negative externality is a negative effect experienced by a third party due to an economic activity.
Earth Overshoot Day marks the day on which humanity has used all the biological resources that Earth regenerates during the entire year.
Earth Overshoot Day is computed by the Global Footprint Network. Our planet’s biocapacity (the amount of ecological resources Earth is able to generate that year) is divided by humanity’s Ecological Footprint (humanity’s demand for that year), and then multiplied by 365 (the number of days in a year).
(Planet’s Biocapacity / Humanity’s Ecological Footprint) x 365 = Earth Overshoot Day
Comparison to previous years
The annual dates are calculated accordingly to the data set of each year. Consequently, it is inaccurate to simply look at media accounts from previous years to determine past Earth Overshoot Days, as improved historical data and collection methods can shift the day significantly.
In the past 40 years, the date has shifted by 5 months: from December to July. On a positive note, however, the rate Earth Overshoot Day has moved up on the calendar has slowed to less than one day a year on average in recent years.
The precise Overshoot Day is less significant than the magnitude of ecological overshoot reflected by the Ecological Footprint. Food industry uses half of our biocapacity. Here is a list of actions promoted by the #MoveTheDate movement that we can take to prevent resource inefficiency in food production. Reducing meat consumption by 50% will delay Overshoot by 17 days while cutting food waste in half will delay Earth Overshoot Day by a further 13 more days. This also reflects 2 sustainable goals by the United Nations (UN): zero hunger and responsible consumption and production.
https://www.overshootday.org (Accessed 15/07/2022)