How many planets do you think you are living on?

I’m writing this post with a very heavy heart.

If everyone on Earth lived like we do in the UK, today would be Earth Overshoot day – May 19. That is the equivalent of behaving like we have the resources of 2.6 Earths to live on.

See Country Overshoot Day calculated by Global Footprint Network.

Earth 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. In 2020, it fell on August 22.

Global Footprint Network

Taken from Earth Overshoot Day press release for Switzerland Overshoot Day May 11th

Global Footprint Network is an international sustainability organisation that is helping the world live within the Earth’s means and respond to climate change. Since 2003 we’ve engaged with more than 50 countries, 30 cities, and 70 global partners to deliver scientific insights that have driven high-impact policy and investment decisions. Together, we’re creating a future where all of us can thrive within the limits of our one planet.

Pushing back the date (#MoveTheDate) of Overshoot Days is possible if we re-design our infrastructure, make our processes far more resource efficient, decarbonize our energy systems, sequester excess CO2, and live in ways that require fewer resources.

Ultimately, it will come down to a simple question: Can we act fast enough to effectively design a future where we can thrive in balance with the regenerative budget of nature? Or will that balance be imposed by disaster?

Through their work with countries, cities and communities Global Footprint Network and their partners share solutions to inspire others around the world to make their own changes. Which ones inspire you to #MovetheDate?

When is your Earth Overshoot Day?

My personal Earth Overshoot Day happens later in the year but still much earlier than December 31. One planet living is still some way off.

You can calculate your own Ecological Footprint. It takes a few minutes to answer the questions. How many planets would we need to all live like you? How does that answer make you feel?

I’m feeling rather sick to tell the truth.

This is another reminder that I have to continue to change my habits, to show my children a kinder way to live on this planet and to share my ideas to help those who want to start their own changes. We are in this together.

2021 Earth Overshoot Day will be announced on 5th June.

In the meantime we all have a chance to guess the date using information on the Overshoot Day website Deadline for entries is May 22nd. We can and we must Move the Date but if you have used the footprint calculator you will understand how mammoth that task is.

What does the future look like?

If you follow the environment press it is easy to believe that government pledges for carbon neutrality and zero carbon are all that is needed to solve the climate crisis. Maybe governments believe, with a little creative accounting, everything will be alright. But, as you can see from the solutions, to become carbon neutral we have to be living more sustainably. We can’t solve the climate crisis without living more sustainably. When you consider that all the solutions require us to live very differently – not less well – just differently, it is easy to see why activists the world over are angry at governments for not yet talking about the solutions to achieve the pledges. Headline-grabing pledges are not enough. Technology which is still in bench scale testing in a lab is not enough.

Solutions are things we can all do something about

For us to meet the Government pledges, society needs to change, even though governments are not telling us yet. This is called behavioural change. This is where the climate emergency will be won. This is how sustainable living happens, when society changes. When will governments start to guide us through these changes so that change is controlled and no-one is left behind?

Have you calculated your Ecological Footprint? Is today the day you start to #MoveTheDate?

Good luck x

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