Today, the 29th of July 2019, is Earth Overshoot Day, the day that we have used all the resources that this planet can regenerate in a year. Yes, it means that we need 1.5 planets to keep up with our current lifestyle. Eek.
It’s the earliest Earth Overshoot Day so far since the Global Footprint Network started measuring it in 2006. At that time the date fell in October...
Needless to say, this is far from sustainable and something must be done to move the date back. Fortunately, there are lots of things that we can all do to make a positive difference with little effort.
Listed below are 8 ways you can help to #movethedate
1. Energy and heat – this is where you can REALLY make a difference according to a recent article on CNN. Cut down on your electricity and gas usage (great for your wallet too) and/or switch to a green energy provider.
2. Transport – where feasible, start cycling to work. Adopt the leisurely pace of cycling capitals such as Amsterdam and Copenhagen, and enjoy the benefits of getting some exercise and fresh air to and from work. Alternatively choose public transport and a great book for your daily commute, and leave the car for occasional outings. Finally, where the car is the only viable option, look into local carpooling schemes to share the cost, ease the burden on the environment and, just maybe, make new friends along the way.
3. Meat – if you are a meat-eater, start introducing meat-free days to your diet. Not only will this have a positive effect on greenhouse gas emissions, a diet with less saturated fat and cholesterol may also have a positive impact on your health.
4. Fashion – start buying fashion made from eco-friendly fibres. Check the labels and go for pieces made from Tencel, organic cotton and recycled polyester; fibres that are water and energy saving, not to mention less polluting. With so many great sustainable fashion brands around, including VILDNIS, there is no need to compromise on style.
5. Trees – plant a CO2 absorbing tree. If you are in the lucky position that you have a garden, consider planting a tree there. If, like us, you don’t have a garden, there is always the snazzy option of planting a tree through Treedom or equivalent organisations.
6. Travelling – cut back on your air travel. Combine several short trips into one longer trip, or consider travelling by train or car instead. If you are a frequent flyer out of necessity, you can offset your carbon emissions. We use CLIMATECARE to offset our air freight, but there are lots of companies offering carbon offsetting, including most airlines. It’s cheaper than you would think and it feels good knowing that you have done something to reset the balance.
7. Packaging – select food and products with as little packaging as possible. Perhaps there is a fruit & vegetable stall in your neighbourhood? Fresh produce bought from stalls like this often tastes a million(-ish) times better, contains more vitamins and costs less than produce bought from the super market.
8. Raise awareness - share this blog post and use the hashtag #movethedate on social media today to help raise awareness about Earth Overshoot Day and the things we can all do to make a positive difference.
Now, if you will excuse me, I am off to plant some trees :-)