Earth Overshoot Day

Earth Overshoot Day is August 2, 2017.

In 2016, that day fell on August 8th, already this is 6 days earlier. We live in a world with a growing population of over 7 billion people. We know that as long as records have been kept, there have not been this many people on Earth at one time before. As a result, this is creating major strain on the resources we use on a daily basis. Every year, Earth Overshoot Day, a nonprofit organization, publishes the day we begin to over use those yearly resources from nature. This strain is causing us to use 1.6 Earth’s resources every year.

This is done by over-fishing, over-harvesting forests for wood, and emitting more carbon dioxide that our forests can sequester. We tend to forget or overlook the fact that our forests act as the lungs to the Earth. They clean the air by taking in carbon dioxide and emitting oxygen. We only have this 1 planet and we have to change the way we do things. We can do this from the inside out and this change needs to happen now.

Change often involves projects and other initiatives which are quite often a blind spot when it comes to assessing sustainability. Most sustainability managers have hit a brick wall in their sustainability efforts as they have largely focused on ‘operations’, whereby the sustainability effort is expended improving business processes, assessing suppliers and minimizing the waste produced by products being produced and sold.

What do you think would take to get this date back to December 31st? Do you think people can really change the way we do things when we know products are manufactured with only a 3 to 5 year lifespan?

Many organizations can help with tracking and data collecting but do these really help when we are as a society driven by popularity, status, and money?

Climate change is real and whether or not world leaders believe it, changes are happening right before our eyes. The upcoming forecast for the West Coast is a major heatwave. Portland, Oregon is set to have a record high of 115* F. 115* F!! We are living in unprecedented times. The US government is calling for access to oil and natural gas located in National Parks, State Parks, and recreation areas. The need for our society to embrace solar and wind technology is becoming a high priority. The need to “leave it in the ground” is becoming a rallying cry for many environmental groups.

Do you think it’s possible to work together on a global scale to get this date back to December 31st?

Jan Russell
About the Author
I have over 25 years experience in commercial and industrial construction, over 15 years in project management, and I have Master Certificate in Project Management from Villanova University. I am a Green Globes ® Professional, a Guiding Principles Compliance® Professional and a Licensed Electrical Contractor. I am currently President of GreenSpring Institute™.

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