Earth Overshoot Day arrives worryingly early! | WWF Hong Kong

Earth Overshoot Day arrives worryingly early!

Posted
02 August 2017


Today, 2 August 2017, is Earth Overshoot Day, meaning that humanity has used up the amount of renewable natural resources that the Earth is able to sustain for the year. From today until 31 December, the natural resources we use will be “borrowed” from the future.

To put it another way, humanity would need 1.7 Earths to sustain its current lifestyle according to the latest research by the Global Footprint Network, which sets the date for Earth Overshoot each year.  In Hong Kong, the figures paint an even more dismal picture: if everyone in the world live a lifestyle of over-consumption on par with Hong Kong, we would need 3.9 Earths to fulfill our needs.

If we look at the past dates of Earth Overshoot we see a trend emerging, with the day arriving earlier and earlier each year. This means that we are consuming natural resources faster than ever before! It’s time we step back and reflect on our current lifestyle.

This year, Global Footprint Network launched #movethedate, in which people are encouraged to pledge to try out new habits to lower their personal Ecological Footprint in the hope of pushing back the date of Earth Overshoot to 31 December!

One way to lower our Ecological Footprint is to identify in which areas we are consuming the most and tackle those directly. Globally, carbon emissions account for 60 per cent of the Ecological Footprint – if we cut the emissions by half, we could push back Earth Overshoot by 89 days. Taking public transportation instead of driving, or riding a bicycle, are both ways to do this. In Hong Kong, personal transportation is the number one contributor to our Ecological Footprint, at the individual, family and company level, followed by food.

Remember, it’s up to each person to adopt a holistic, sustainable lifestyle and safeguard our planet’s renewable natural resources for future generations. We only need to push Earth Overshoot back 4.5 days each year to #movethedate to 31 December by 2050. Together, we can create a better and more sustainable future!
Earth Overshoot Day
© WWF-Hong Kong