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What is Earth Overshoot Day?

This year, Earth Overshoot Day falls on July 29th. It marks the date when the world's demand for resources (e.g. land, food, energy and more) outnumbers the amount of resources our planet has to give. And, it’s getting earlier and earlier every year—last year it was August 22nd! That’s why we’re on a mission to help #movethedate, and give back to Mother Earth more than we take. Are you in?

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Why July 29th?

This date is calculated by evaluating changes in carbon emissions, forest biocapacity and other factors that could impact Earth’s biocapacity. This year, the main drivers were the carbon footprint (increased 6.6%) and a decrease in global forest biocapacity (reduced 0.5%). The formula is:

(Planet’s Biocapacity / Humanity’s Ecological Footprint) x 365 = Earth Overshoot Day

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What is ‘biocapacity’?

The capacity of ecosystems to produce useful biological materials and to absorb waste materials generated by humans. (Source: WWF)

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What is an ‘Ecological Footprint’?

The impact of human activities measured in terms of the area of biologically productive land and water required to produce the goods consumed and to assimilate the wastes generated.

‘Ecological Footprint’ refers to a continuous demand (e.g. human consumption) while ‘biocapacity’ refers to a continuous supply (e.g. what the Earth gives us in order to support human demand). A biocapacity deficit happens when the Footprint of a population exceeds the biocapacity of the area available to that population—leading us to overshoot.

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Want to know what your Ecological Footprint is?

Find out your personal Overshoot Day and how many planets we’d need if everybody lived like you—take the quiz.

How you can help #movethedate