Happy Earth Overshoot Day! (Not really)

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Happy Earth Overshoot Day! (Not really)

August means summer is starting to wind down, which may sadden a lot of people – and especially their kids. We don’t want to deepen the gloom, but according to the Global Footprint Network, August 1 marked Earth Overshoot Day, and that’s not a good thing.

The organization, which is plenty worried about what we’re doing to the planet, calculates how much of its resources the Earth can replenish in a year, and how fast humanity uses them up. With five months left in the year, we’re already overdrawn at the ecological bank.

“As human population continues to rapidly grow, we clearcut trees, burn fossil fuels and bulldoze wild spaces. The Earth can’t keep up,” said Sarah Baillie of the Center for Biological Diversity.

The consequences range from deforestation, degraded water supplies and collapsing fisheries to decreasing biodiversity, climate change and mass migrations from poor, drought-stricken countries.

“We’re blowing through nature’s capital, and wildlife and the planet are suffering for it,” she said.

Unfortunately, we’re blowing through nature’s capital more quickly every year. The Global Footprint Network estimates that we entered negative territory about 1970, and August 1 is the earliest Overshoot Day yet. Worse, because the average American consumes more resources than most other Earthlings, the U.S. Overshoot Day hit way back in mid-March.

The solutions are clear. They’re just not easy: burning less fossil fuels, reducing consumption and waste, limiting population growth and Earth-friendly actions.

That includes recycling, of course, which is where Echo Environmental comes in. Even if Earth Overshoot Day has passed for the year, we’re shooting back every day.