Picture: Sean Gallup/Getty Image
Picture: Sean Gallup/Getty Image

Earth Overshoot Day has come and gone for this year. What did you get?

Here's a clue: it was probably too much.

The day marks a horrible reminder that humans are living far beyond our means.

Essentially, 8 August was the day we used up all our resources for the year, if we were to live sustainably with natural resources.

The ecological footprint of the UK, for example, exceeded its biocapacity (the supply or area of productive land available to meet demand) by 280 per cent.

The rest of the world tell a very similar story, Japan is at 600 per cent, Luxembourg exceeded by 840 per cent, while Singapore broke biocapacity by 16,000 per cent.

Factoring in for the earth's supply, the Global Footprint Network has calculated how many earths we'd need to continue with a given country's rate of consumption, sustainably.

It does not make for pretty reading:

Picture: Global Footprint Network

If you take the current rate of consumption for the earth average and accommodate for rising population, the situation only gets worse.

However, by reducing carbon emissions, the Global Footprint Network project that the earth becomes far more sustainable.

Picture: Global Footprint Network

This is because the carbon footprint now makes up 60 per cent of humanity’s ecological footprint.

Solutions include moving to more plant-based diets and reducing food waste, using energy efficient buildings, and trying to achieve population stabilisation.

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