What is Earth Overshoot Day – and why is it getting earlier?

What is Earth Overshoot Day – and why is it getting earlier?

Tomorrow is Earth Overshoot Day – a day that marks when humanity’s demand for ecological resources exceeds what the earth can regenerate in a year.

Global Footprint Network calculates this date by finding the number of days that the earth’s biocapacity can provide for humanity’s Ecological Footprint and any days past this date means that we are in global overshoot [1]. This year, the calculations are more worrying than ever – showing that at the current rate of consumption, the world’s population requires 1.7 earths to support it. Equally frightening is the fact that Earth Overshoot Day has tended to fall earlier and earlier in the year ever since 1970.


Of course, some countries are bigger consumers than others and each has its own overshoot day – that is, the date that Earth Overshoot Day would land on if everyone in the world consumed like the people of that country. This year, Qatar’s Overshoot Day was the earliest on February 9th, Indonesia’s the latest on December 18th, and the UK’s somewhere in the middle on May 19th [2].


What can we do to turn things around?

We urgently need to change and reduce the way we consume natural resources – and Global Footprint Network has identified five key areas which could help to make a difference [3].

  1. Planet – we must help nature thrive through classical conservation, restoration and regenerative agriculture, and sustainable fishing.
  2. Cities – we must manage and design cities in a way that reduces their impact, especially when it comes to transportation.
  3. Energy – we must decarbonise our economy and the energy we use.
  4. Food – we must increase food production resource efficiency, decrease food waste and consume food with a lower ecological footprint, such as vegetarian food.
  5. Population – we could discuss people-positive solutions, such as empowering women and girls.

Where does Spring come in?

Resource extraction accounts for 50% of global GHG emissions [4] and making tech that we use every day, such as smartphones, contributes to the depletion of finite resources. But Spring is changing the way the world consumes technology – repairing, refurbishing, or recycling devices, decreasing the amount of critical raw materials extracted for the production of new devices and so helping to reduce the pressure on our precious planet.

Will you help #movethedate and be part of this planet-saving process too?


1 - "About Earth Overshoot Day - #Movethedate Of Earth Overshoot Day". Earth Overshoot Day, 2021. https://www.overshootday.org/about-earth-overshoot-day/

2 - "2021 How The Date Of Earth Overshoot Day Was Calculated - Earth Overshoot Day". Earth Overshoot Day, 2021. https://www.overshootday.org/2021-calculation/

3 - "#Movethedate Solutions - #Movethedate Of Earth Overshoot Day". Earth Overshoot Day, 2021. https://www.overshootday.org/solutions/

4 - International Resource Panel. Global Resource Outlook (2019) - Natural Resources For The Future We Want. UNEP, 2021. https://www.resourcepanel.org/

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