Humans Have Already Depleted Earth’s Resources For The Year

"As we mark Earth Overshoot Day, today may seem no different from yesterday - you still have the same food in your refrigerator", said Wackernagel.

Humanity has overdrawn the planet's annual budget of resources.

We're only 212 days into 2018, but theoretically we've already used up all the resources that the planet has to give this year.

Unlike numerous other days we set aside each year to mark a special occasion, Earth Overshoot Day - this year falling on today's date (1 August) - is a time when humanity should take a long, hard look at itself.

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"Globally, we use more ecological resources and services than nature can regenerate by overfishing, overharvesting forests and emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than ecosystems can absorb", Sanedi interim CEO Dr Thembakazi Mali explained, adding that the overshoot is the equivalent of 1.7 Earths.

GFN warns that "ecological overspending" may result in deforestation, collapsing fisheries, fresh water scarcity, soil erosion, loss of biodiversity and climate change, which includes severe droughts, wildfires and hurricanes.

We keep growing in numbers and it's a controversial thing to tell families not to have children, but the report says that if every other family had one less child, the date would move back 30 days by 2050. On the other side of the world, residents in Cape Town have had to slash water consumption in half since 2015. We are using the Earth's future resources to operate in the present and digging ourselves deeper into ecological debt.

The idea for Earth Overshoot Day originated in 1987 with the Global Footprint Network, which is a think tank centered around sustainable practices. Notable declines were seen in Singapore, the Bahamas, Denmark, United States (US), United Kingdom (UK) and France. As if that's not scary enough, with this year's day falling on August 1, it's "five months too soon - and the earliest since the world first went into ecological overshoot". Reducing food waste by half and consuming world-average calories will also help.

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