Earth Overshoot Day: Seven Ways We Can Help Push It BackPosted by: Dave Lyon | Posted on: August 8, 2018
Earth Overshoot Day is the date each year that humanity has exhausted more of nature’s resources than our earth can renew. This year the date was August 1, 2018, which is the earliest in history. This metric means that currently we are using resources equivalent to 1.7 earths. There are a number of ways that businesses and governments are working toward pushing this date back. Ultimately, however, much of the responsibility falls on us, the consumers. Here are seven things we can all do to help push this date back.
- Carpooling– More than 25% of US greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation. Sharing a ride with a coworker, riding a bike to work, or grabbing public transportation are all great ways to limit your personal carbon footprint.
- Fly Less or More Efficiently– While flying less may not be an option for some, flying on more fuel efficient airlines can work for anyone. A 2016 report from The International Council on Clean Transportation ranks Alaskan Air, Frontier and Spirit as the three most fuel efficient domestic airlines in the United States.
- Research and Support Earth-Friendly Businesses– Spend your money with organizations that are responsible environmentally. Find agricultural companies that avoid over-fishing and over-harvesting, as these practices emit more CO2 into the atmosphere than ecosystems can absorb.
- Eat Less Meat and More Vegetables– The meat industry and specifically the beef industry have long been known to have adverse environmental impacts due to inefficient land use, methane emissions, and the food and water cost of feeding livestock. The biggest way to help limit this is to limit demand for meat. If you’re not ready to go full vegetarian, then try to replace a meal or two per week with beans instead of beef.
- A More Efficient Home– Replacing standard light bulbs with energy efficient bulbs is a great way to reduce your personal carbon footprint. Also, setting your thermostat to automatically turn down at night is another way to save money while also using less energy.
- Recycle More, Throw Away Less– Recycling has been around since the early 1970’s and while this has become more common in the US, most households still don’t recycle. According to a 2015 study by the EPA, only 34% of American households recycle. This has resulted in more waste going to landfills today than any other point in American history.
- Water Usage– By turning off water when brushing teeth, using rain catching buckets to water your yard, and turning water off while scrubbing dishes you can help limit your personal water usage. A simple water leak in your home can waste up to 200 gallons per day (source: EPA), so get your leaks fixed promptly.