Earth Overshoot Day – 29 July 2019

Earth Overshoot Day 2019Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year. We maintain this deficit by liquidating stocks of ecological resources and accumulating waste, primarily carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Earth Overshoot Day is hosted and calculated by Global Footprint Network, an international research organisation that provides decision-makers with a menu of tools to help the human economy operate within Earth’s ecological limits. in 2019, Earth Overshoot Day will be July 29th.

To determine the date of Earth Overshoot Day for each year, Global Footprint Network calculates the number of days of that year that Earth’s biocapacity suffices to provide for humanity’s Ecological Footprint. The remainder of the year corresponds to global overshoot. Earth Overshoot Day is computed by dividing the planet’s biocapacity (the amount of ecological resources Earth is able to generate that year), by humanity’s Ecological Footprint (humanity’s demand for that year), and multiplying by 365, the number of days in a year:

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

Measuring Ecological Wealth

Measuring Footprint
Source: WWF Japan and Global Footprint Network; Ecological Footprint for Sustainable Living in Japan

Just as a bank statement tracks income against expenditures, Global Footprint Network measures a population’s demand for and ecosystems’ supply of resources and services. These calculations then serve as the foundation for calculating Earth Overshoot Day.

On the supply side, a city, state, or nation’s biocapacity represents its biologically productive land and sea area, including forest lands, grazing lands, crop land, fishing grounds, and built-up land.

On the demand side, the Ecological Footprint measures a population’s demand for plant-based food and fibre products, livestock and fish products, timber and other forest products, space for urban infrastructure, and forest to absorb its carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels.

Both measures are expressed in global hectares—globally comparable, standardised hectares with world average productivity. A hectare is equivalent to 10,000 square meters or 2.47 acres

The solution is to move the date: read more on Earth Overshoot Day website.

An Australian Solution is to join in Living The Change, an initiative of the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change.

Earth Overshoot Day is a reminder that individuals can make a pledge or a commitment to some kind of lifestyle change online at

Why not just make a commitment private privately? Why make it publicly? For a few reasons:

  • It helps you to stay more conscious of your goal, day-to-day, which in turn will help you stick to it.
  • It’s a public witness to our being prepared to willingly restrain our consumption, aligned with our religious beliefs and values
  • It helps create momentum world-wide that there’s a movement of people who know that we, in wealthy countries, need to live within the earth’s planetary limits. These movements have a way of changing cultures. This may be an ambitious goal but, given the glacial pace of political action, the human community needs to make the most of all options.

If you’d like to learn more first , the ARRCC resources relating to the initiative are here on the website.

You’ll find stories, videos, a blog and estimates of the amounts of emissions you could save through particular lifestyle changes.

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