Today, August 1st, is the so-called Overshoot Day which means that we have already depleted the renewable resources of our planet for the year.
This date comes every year earlier because we consume our natural resources faster than the time the Earth needs to regenerate them, while our consumption keeps rising.
According to the studies of the Global Footprint Network experts, at the moment we would need 1.7 Earths to meet our needs. My country, Italy, is the 56th in the ranking of the most voracious of natural resources: if everyone lived like my people, 2.6 planets would be needed to feed the world.
We can’t keep living like this, we need to change!
What can we do? Here are some simple suggestions to help moving the date of the next Overshoot day later next year:
- Consume less. Avoid buying and using what is totally unnecessary.
- Buy with awareness: choose ecological alternatives, recycled and recyclable products, donate or resell your used clothes instead of throwing them away, buy second-hand goods.
- When possible, prefer walking, cycling, or taking public transport instead of your private car when you have to go somewhere.
- Consume less water.
- Eat more local and seasonal cereals, legumes, fruits and vegetables, decreasing the consumption of meat, fish and their derivatives. If the water and land used for intensive farming were addressed to crops for humans, it would be possible to feed a huge part of the population, in fact:
“To produce 1 kg of beef, it is necessary to have a surface 15 times bigger than the one needed to produce 1 kg of cereals, equal to 70 times the surface needed to produce 1 kg of vegetables.” (Source: Center for Energy and Environmental Studies, 2005).
- Instead of consuming disposable products, choose reusable alternatives.
- Plant trees, it’s easier than you think and you can do it with just a few clicks: for example, use Ecosia and Treedom.
It is only up to us.
I took the photo I added to this article a year ago, from the plane that was carrying me back home from England. When you are up in the sky and you look at our planet from above, you can understand that we are all like sailors on the same ship and we must take care of it because it is our only home. Let’s remember it every day.