Earth Overshoot Day

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Apr 27, 2022, 12:02

The Earth Overshoot Day marks the day until the end of that year when the demand for the human need for ecological resources exceeds that which the planet can regenerate in that year.

In 2021, Earth Overshoot Day was observed on 29 July 2021. This means that between 1 January 2021 and 29 July 2021, humans have already consumed enough resources that the earth can regenerate during the year. The consumption of resources beyond this date means that humans are consuming more resources than what the planet can regenerate. In 2020, the Earth Overshoot Day fell on 22 August, somewhat induced by the Covid pandemic.

According to this idea, humanity runs on an ecological deficit daily between the end of the year and Earth Overshoot Day.

Earth Overshoot Day History

The idea of Earth Overshoot Day was the brainchild of Andrew Simms, who hails from the UK think tank New economics foundation. The organisation partnered with Global Footprint Network in 2006 to launch the first global-scale Earth Overshoot Day campaign.

The organisation aims to generate viable ecological footprint data, which is a metric that compares human demand for natural resources against the natural regeneration capacity of the earth.

This day's computation is made by dividing the earth's biocapacity (ecological resources which can be regenerated by the end of the year) by the ecological footprint of humanity (demand for resources by humans in that year) into the number of days in that year.

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Earth Overshoot Day Objective

The global carbon footprint and deforestation are factors contributing to the rapid approach of Earth Overshoot Day.

Besides these, the carbon footprint resulting from transportation and international aviation is another factor actively contributing to the excess use of the earth's natural resources.

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Significance of Earth Overshoot Day

It is necessary to recognise the concept of Earth Overshoot Day as it indicates how rapidly we are consuming the natural resources available at our disposal.

Recognising the imminent need to cut down on the frequent consumption of these resources will help us cut down on wastage of food, transportation and adoption of commercial technologies for various industrial processes, production of electricity and construction of buildings.

Theme of Earth Overshoot Day

In 2021, Earth Overshoot Day was observed on 29 July. According to the theme of the overshoot day, this is the day when humans exhaust nature's budget for available resources which can be regenerated by the end of that year.

Some of how we can support life for good are using the planet's resources conservatively and preserving what we can. Efficient city planning and good urban development through targeted strategies help balance the demand and supply of resources.

Using renewable energy sources and reducing our dependence on non-renewable sources of energy is another way to address climate change and reduce our carbon footprint. Seemingly, food is another powerful way to influence sustainability. Production of food and food sources also makes a difference, as does the population size.

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FAQs on Earth Overshoot Day

Q.1. According to the idea behind Earth Overshoot Day, what are the consequences of resource scarcity?

According to the idea behind Earth Overshoot Day, resource scarcity can result in conflicts among civilians and lead to economic stress on the community, further fueling the problem of monetary inflation.

Q.2. Mention some direct effects of resource depletion, highlighting Earth Overshoot Day's significance.

Some direct effects of resource depletion which highlight the significance of Earth Overshoot Day are Climate change, which is one of the most evident results of resource depletion, deforestation, loss of species, the collapse of fisheries etc.

Q.3. What is the need to observe the Earth Overshoot Day?

Human consumption of natural resources has started outstripping what the planet can reproduce. By the time humanity reaches the middle of the 21st century, we may require resources equal to the resources of two planets. This is why Earth Overshoot Day is observed.

Q.4. Mention some Indian initiatives to oversee the adverse effects recognised as per Earth Overshoot Day.

Some of the Indian initiatives launched for Earth Overshoot Day to oversee resource consumption are National Clean Air Programme and the UJALA scheme.

Q.5. What is the mathematical formula to calculate Earth Overshoot Day?

Calculation of the Earth Overshoot Day can be made by the following formula -

World biocapacity/world ecological footprint *365