Technology On August 1, we'll have consumed more resources than the Earth can regenerate in a year — here's how you can reduce your ecological footprint

10:05  01 august  2018
10:05  01 august  2018 Source:   businessinsider.com

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According to the Global Footprint Network, we currently consume more resources per year than our planet can produce in the same timeframe. Their calculations show that it takes the planet 18 months to regenerate everything that we use in a 12 month period.

We use more ecological resources and services than nature can regenerate through overfishing, overharvesting forests, and emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than forests can sequester.

a group of people on a beach © Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

The Global Footprint Network, an international nonprofit, takes a number of factors into consideration when it calculates Earth Overshoot Day, including the earth's capacity to sequester carbon and how much food and other natural resources can grow in one year.

Earth Overshoot Day is like a report card. Are we using our natural resources wisely and sustainably? At the moment, not so much. In 2018, it would take 1.7 earths to replenish the natural resources we will collectively use up as a planet. Unfortunately, we only have one.

By August 1, 2018, we will have consumed a whole year's worth of the planet's bounty. Starting August 2, we begin to drain the earth's savings account. We can only deplete our natural resources for so long before the reserves are gone.

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( August 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message). World map of countries by their raw ecological The GHG footprint or the more narrow carbon footprint are a component of the ecological footprint . 1996. Our Ecological Footprint : Reducing Human Impact on the Earth .

“This means that in seven months, we emitted more carbon than the oceans and forests can absorb in a year , we caught more fish, felled more trees, harvested more , and consumed more water than the Earth was able to produce in the same period.”

a close up of a map © Global Footprint Network

United States Overshoot Day

If you live in the United States, you may consume more than your share of natural resources. According to 2017 Global Footprint Network data reported by the World Wildlife Fund, the U.S. is a close second to Australia in being a resource hog.

The WWF report shows that it would take five planet earths to support humanity for a year if everyone lived the way Americans do. Country Overshoot Day for the U.S. came less than a quarter of the way through the year — on March 15, in 2018.

a screenshot of a cell phone © Global Footprint Network

Reversing the trend

Earth Overshoot Day has come earlier and earlier over time, as the global population grows and we consume more resources. In 1970, humans didn't use up more resources than the earth could renew until late December. By 1997, the overshoot date had moved back to late September.

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You can take action on this issue here . We don’t have a backup planet. Earth Overshoot Day is determined by calculating humanity’ s ecological footprint . The Global Footprint Network looks at how much food is being consumed , how many trees are being cut down, how much fossil fuel is

On August 1 , humans will have consumed more natural resources in 2018 than the Earth can regenerate this year , according to the California-based Global Footprint Network. This environmental nonprofit calculates the annual arrival of Earth Overshoot Day

The good news is that the date has not moved much since 2011, despite population growth. This is an encouraging sign that we can reverse the trend. The experts at Earth Overshoot Day have lots of ideas how you can make a difference.

a close up of a map © Global Footprint Network

4 things you can do to #MoveTheDate

What change can you make to reduce your ecological footprint? Take the quiz to find out your footprint, then take some steps to make it smaller.

1. Take the carbon out of your commute

More than a quarter of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation, according to the EPA. If you live close to work or work from home, that's a fantastic way to reduce your ecological footprint.

But even if you have to go into work every day, you can green your commute. For a zero-carbon commute, switch from four wheels to two and go by bike. If pedaling is not your thing, try a train, a bus, or carpooling with coworkers. If you drive with even one other person, you're both cutting your commuting carbon emissions in half.

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Therefore, we have consumed more natural resources than the planet can renew in a whole year . You can click here to learn about your personal Earth Overshoot Day to calculate your ecological footprint .

We are consuming them faster than our planet can regenerate . What does that mean? Soon, we will have water shortage, energy shortage and food shortage. You can take the Ecological Footprint Quiz here . We waste so much . We didn’t think we were doing anything wrong.

2. Strive for zero waste

One of the ways we put stress on the Earth and its resources is the amount of stuff we buy and then waste. You can take out the trash, but ultimately, it's never really gone. Can you be more like Tippi Thole, who reduced the weekly trash she and her son generated to almost nothing? If you're up for a challenge, try for Zero Waste.

3. Eat less meat and more veggies

A significant amount of our ecological footprint comes from the food we eat. Livestock-related activity uses more global land surface than anything else, and accounts for 14.5% of the greenhouse gas emissions produced by humans, according to the UN.

If you are serious about treading lightly on the earth but aren't able to give up driving, moving to a more plant-based diet is a great step. You don't have to be all or nothing; start with Meatless Monday and find more yummy vegetarian recipes here.

4. Tread lightly when you travel

You might commute every day by bicycle and eat only fresh veggies from your garden, but a few long plane trips a year can really add to your ecological footprint. To reduce the damage, choose a more fuel-efficient airline when you book a flight.

Then follow the Global Footprint Network's tips to have an eco-conscious vacation once you arrive, including not renting a car and eating foods that are local to your destination.

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