Can We Balance Human Needs and Earth’s Resources?

Starting August 22nd until the end of the year, humanity will need another Earth to support lifestyles and demands. Why? Because we have already used all the ecological resources the planet can produce in a year. Hence, for the next months, our resource consumption will exceed Earth’s capacity to regenerate those resources.
Like individuals, households, or countries, the Earth has a natural budget. The day when humanity exhausts the nature’s budget for the year is known as Earth Overshoot Day. This year, it was marked on August 22nd. It took us less than nine months to consume that budget. Yet, this is the first time since 2005 that the Earth overshot Day has been delayed. Besides various campaigns on #movethedate, lockdowns and travel restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic reduced our consumption this year. These are considered to be the main factors that impacted the delay. The coronavirus crisis caused one of the biggest drops of CO2 emissions. Energy demand fell globally, people traveled less as most airlines grounded their airplanes for a few months.

The calculations for defining the overshot day are made by the Global Footprint Network. They use official data from the United Nations. Those data show than the first year when human consumption couldn’t be replenished was in 1970, by three days. This year, it was by 132 days. The EOD is calculated on a simple formula, and despite different stances on its accuracy, the point is that we are depleting the earth’s resources. However, experts believe that even though the CO2 emission will increase after the pandemic, demand for non-renewable resources will fall.

Personal choices can force corporations to go green

Sustainability-minded consumers can put businesses and companies under pressure. We are the customers and shoppers and our personal choices no matter how insignificant may seem, they can have an impact. When we make informed choices we can also help other people think critically and make good choices by sharing that information.

However, remember that people are flooded with information. What we give to them must carry a value that’s easy to understand and pass over to others. Hence a personal choice will turn into a collective or community choice.

Things that buyers must keep in mind when shopping include the origin of the product, did it have to travel a long distance, who made it and are those people working decent jobs?
Is it possible to recycle those products and how much waste will they create? Facts show that almost one-third of the food produced globally goes to waste, and despite this, there are more than 800 million people that go to be hungry.

Do I need it?
It is crucial to remember that in today’s consumerism a lot of products come to our attention because of intrusive adds and invasive marketing and not because we are looking for that specific product or service.

In the end, people, institutions, and governments can cooperate and increase their role as a catalyst for change. At the same time, citizen-driven initiatives based on innovative and entrepreneurial mindsets can help communities and businesses to be more sustainable in the way how they use resources. If this approach appeals to you, you could like also like the Entrepreneurship Campus online training on social and sustainable entrepreneurship. Meanwhile, you’re still in time to join the 2020 Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition. If you have an innovative idea or project that contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals you are welcomed to join.

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31 Comments

  1. Starting August 22nd until the end of the year, humanity will need another Earth to support lifestyles and demands. Why? Because we have already used all the ecological resources the planet can produce in a year. Hence, for the next months, our resource consumption will exceed Earth’s capacity to regenerate those resources.

  2. In the end, people, institutions, and governments can cooperate and increase their role as a catalyst for change. At the same time, citizen-driven initiatives based on innovative and entrepreneurial mindsets can help communities and businesses to be more sustainable in the way how they use resources.

  3. Starting August 22nd until the end of the year, humanity will need another Earth to support lifestyles and demands. Why? Because we have already used all the ecological resources the planet can produce in a year. Hence, for the next months, our resource consumption will exceed Earth’s capacity to regenerate those resources.
    Like individuals, households, or countries, the Earth has a natural budget. The day when humanity exhausts the nature’s budget for the year is known as Earth Overshoot Day. This year, it was marked on August 22nd. It took us less than nine months to consume that budget. Yet, this is the first time since 2005 that the Earth overshot Day has been delayed. Besides various campaigns on #movethedate, lockdowns and travel restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic reduced our consumption this year. These are considered to be the main factors that impacted the delay. The coronavirus crisis caused one of the biggest drops of CO2 emissions. Energy demand fell globally, people traveled less as most airlines grounded their airplanes for a few months.

    This is a clarion call for ALL

  4. Can We Balance Human Needs and Earth’s Resources?

    Published on: 26.08.2020

    I motivate and encourage all campus members to reflect on this today

  5. Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year.

    To include the impacts from the coronavirus pandemic this year, Global Footprint Network combined the most reliable data and formed the most reasonable assumptions to assess humanity’s current resource situation.

    All must read this today or otherwise buy!

    Changes in carbon emissions, forest harvest, food demand, and other factors that could impact global biocapacity or the Ecological Footprint from January 1 to Earth Overshoot Day were evaluated. The main drivers were the carbon Footprint (reduced 14.5% from 2019) and the forest product Footprint (reduced 8.4% from 2019). Check out the highlights and/or the detailed research report explaining how the date of Earth Overshoot Day was calculated.

  6. I also urge all of us to read this sustainable book by Helena Norbert-Hodge a Swedish Linguistic titled Ancient Future

  7. Anonymous

    27.08.2020 · Reply

    Experts widely agree that human activities are harming the global environment.

  8. Anonymous

    27.08.2020 · Reply

    Since the Industrial Revolution, the world economy has grown dramatically.

  9. Anonymous

    27.08.2020 · Reply

    Overall this is a success story, since rising incomes have lifted millions of people out of poverty.

  10. Anonymous

    27.08.2020 · Reply

    But it has been fueled by population growth and increasing consumption of natural resources.

  11. Anonymous

    27.08.2020 · Reply

    Rising demand to meet the needs of more than 7 billion people has transformed land use and generated unprecedented levels of pollution, affecting biodiversity, forests, wetlands, water bodies, soils and air quality.

  12. In addition to what juliusanayochukwu said,

    On Aug. 1, humans will have consumed more natural resources in 2018 than the Earth can regenerate this year, according to the California-based Global Footprint Network.

  13. This environmental nonprofit calculates the annual arrival of Earth Overshoot Day – the date when humanity’s demands on nature exceed what the network’s analysts estimate the Earth can regenerate over the entire year.

  14. Aug. 1 is the earliest date since ecological overshoot began in the early 1970s

  15. Anonymous

    27.08.2020 · Reply

    In addition to the above comments,

    As an ecological economist and scholar of sustainability, I am particularly interested in metrics and indicators that can help us understand human uses of Earth’s ecosystems.

  16. Anonymous

    27.08.2020 · Reply

    Better measurements of the impacts of human activities can help identify ways to sustain both human well-being and natural resources.

  17. Anonymous

    27.08.2020 · Reply

    Earth Overshoot Day is a compelling concept and has raised awareness of the growing impact of human activities on the planet. Unfortunately, the methodology used to calculate it and the ecological footprint on which it is based is conceptually flawed and practically unusable in any science or policy context. In my view, the ecological footprint ultimately does not measure overuse of natural resources – and it may very well underestimate it.

  18. Can We Balance Human Needs and Earth’s Resources?
    Yes we can. In economics a resource is defined as a service or other asset used to produce goods and services that meet human needs and wants. … Classical economics recognizes three categories of resources, also referred to as factors of production: land, labor, and capital.

  19. Anonymous

    27.08.2020 · Reply

    I think one thing that exhausts the human budget for the year is the increasing population.

  20. Anonymous

    27.08.2020 · Reply

    One way to prevent World Shoot Days is to ensure people get wont to a frugal culture.

  21. “Things that buyers must keep in mind when shopping include the origin of the product, did it have to travel a long distance, who made it and are those people working decent jobs?
    Is it possible to recycle those products and how much waste will they create? Facts show that almost one-third of the food produced globally goes to waste, and despite this, there are more than 800 million people that go to be hungry.

    Do I need it?
    It is crucial to remember that in today’s consumerism a lot of products come to our attention because of intrusive adds and invasive marketing and not because we are looking for that specific product or service”.

    The statement above is eventually a nitche for me in this article. Leaving in my part of society-Nigeria, where we see and buy anything foreign as the best, we need to rethink. Also our consumation is most times not based on need but a factor of is for elites so all elite must have it to stay relevant or is for celebreties so to be counted as one, I need to buy or enjoy the services or sent my child abroad to school or my family to Canada or so to study because I want to belong and remain in the expected class. Hmmm

    We need to sensitize individuals in all our little corners on the need to balance human needs and the earth resources. This article is informative. I must admit. Thank you campus administrator for sharing

  22. Yes, humans are depleting Earth’s resources, but ‘footprint’ estimates don’t tell the full story

    Let research on such story like this

  23. “Things that buyers must keep in mind when shopping include the origin of the product, did it have to travel a long distance, who made it and are those people working decent jobs?
    Is it possible to recycle those products and how much waste will they create? Facts show that almost one-third of the food produced globally goes to waste, and despite this, there are more than 800 million people that go to be hungry.

    Do I need it?
    It is crucial to remember that in today’s consumerism a lot of products come to our attention because of intrusive adds and invasive marketing and not because we are looking for that specific product or service”.

    The statement above is eventually a nitche for me in this article. Leaving in my part of society-Nigeria, where we see and buy anything foreign as the best, we need to rethink. Also our consumation is most times not based on need but a factor of is for elites so all elite must have it to stay relevant or is for celebreties so to be counted as one, I need to buy or enjoy the services or sent my child abroad to school or my family to Canada or so to study because I want to belong and remain in the expected class. Hmmm

    We need to sensitize individuals in all our little corners on the need to balance human needs and the earth resources. This article is informative. I must admit. Thank you campus administrator for sharing

    I agree with Todega’s comment here, what of campus members 2020?

  24. Experts widely agree that human activities are harming the global environment. Since the Industrial Revolution, the world economy has grown dramatically. Overall this is a success story, since rising incomes have lifted millions of people out of poverty. But it has been fueled by population growth and increasing consumption of natural resources.

    Rising demand to meet the needs of more than 7 billion people has transformed land use and generated unprecedented levels of pollution, affecting biodiversity, forests, wetlands, water bodies, soils and air quality.

    On Aug. 1, humans will have consumed more natural resources in 2018 than the Earth can regenerate this year, according to the California-based Global Footprint Network. This environmental nonprofit calculates the annual arrival of Earth Overshoot Day – the date when humanity’s demands on nature exceed what the network’s analysts estimate the Earth can regenerate over the entire year. Aug. 1 is the earliest date since ecological overshoot began in the early 1970s.

    Lat us embrace this article now

  25. I think Adam Smith story and point on Economics can help us and stand as an indicator for balancing

  26. it was marked on August 22nd. It took us less than nine months to consume that budget. Yet, this is the first time since 2005 that the Earth overshot Day has been delayed. Besides various campaigns on move the date, lock downs and travel restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic reduced our consumption this year. These are considered to be the main factors that impacted the delay.

  27. As Global Footprint Network methodology changes, projections will continue to shift. But every scientific model used to account for human demand and nature’s supply shows a consistent trend: We are well over budget, and that debt is compounding. It is an ecological debt, and the interest we are paying on that mounting debt food shortages, soil erosion, and the build up of CO₂ in our atmosphere comes with devastating human and monetary costs.

  28. If we committed and voluntarily keep our eyes away from what we do not need at a time, the pressure on the earth resources will definitley be reduced. It is a clarion call to campus members that as we undertake the journey of entrepreneurship, what can of lifestyle shall characterise our journey, the one of wastages or not. this article is a ffo for thought for all of us.

  29. Anonymous

    28.08.2020 · Reply

    Sustainability-minded consumers can put businesses and companies under pressure. In other words, companies ponder over their consumers.

  30. It is critical to remember that in today’s consumerism a lot of products come to our attention because of intrusive adds and invasive marketing and not because we are looking for that specific product or service.

  31. Shedrach aifuwa

    28.09.2020 · Reply

    We must put mother earth first at all times as she does us. We must protect her from our far reaching selves. I am hoping to create a platform that only allows environmental friendly products. So, despite price men and women, boys and girls who care more about the environment can get what they want thereby strengthening the process and ideal.

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