Earth Overshoot Day 2020: Unintentional Improvements are not a Sustainable Solution
What is Earth Overshoot Day?
Earth Overshoot Day marks the date each year when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services worldwide in a given year exceeds what the Earth can regenerate in that same year.
This year, Earth Overshoot Day lands on August 22nd. This is due to the current rate of global depletion of ecological resources combined with the accumulation of waste, primarily carbon dioxide, in the atmosphere.
Currently, 1.6 planets are needed to support humanity’s demand on Earth’s resources.
How is Earth Overshoot Day Calculated?
Each year, Earth Overshoot Day is calculated by the Global Footprint Network, which tracks changes in carbon emissions, forest harvest, food demand, and other factors that could impact global biocapacity or the ecological footprint.
To determine the date of Earth Overshoot Day each year, the 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, or 366 for leap year.
How Does 2020 compare to Previous Years?
From the time it was first tracked in 1970, Earth Overshoot Day has been creeping forward, falling earlier and earlier each year. However, this year Earth Overshoot Day falls almost an entire month later in the year as compared to 2019.
While successfully moving back the date of Earth Overshoot Day is cause for celebration, unfortunately it is neither the result of our collective intentional efforts to lower our ecological footprint nor is it an indication of sustainable progress.
Instead, global efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic, and the resulting economic slowdown has caused humanity’s ecological footprint to contract.
The fact remains that humanity’s ability to thrive within the means of our planet in the long run can only be achieved through deliberate design and not by disaster.
The question now is: how will we emerge from Covid-19 and build a more sustainable future?
What Can Be Done to Help?
An ever-expanding ecological footprint does not have to be our destiny. At Cleanyst we believe that small daily actions can have an impact that extends far beyond ourselves. That is why we are on mission to make it easier to take better care of your body, home, and the planet.
Cleanyst offers a full line of premium body and home care concentrates, all of which feature the USDA’s Certified Biobased Product label. Choosing products made with renewable, biobased materials helps displace the need for non-renewable petroleum-based chemicals which, in turn, helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Additionally, the Cleanyst system utilizes a countertop appliance, reusable bottles and concentrated, naturally derived ingredients that you mix in minutes with water from your own tap. This mix-at-home approach enables you to create safe, natural and effective body and home care products while minimizing plastic waste and carbon emissions.
While it can be overwhelming to think about how your personal footprint contributes to global overshoot, your small steps can go a long way to help #MoveTheDate of Earth Overshoot Day and create a sustainable future!