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What is Earth Overshoot Day?

Earth Overshoot Day (Podcast Episode 16)

Did you know we are in overshoot? What does that mean, and what should we do about it? Also in this episode, which has a smaller footprint – milk, or milk alternatives like almond milk? Dana informs us that, “Eating food is one of the worst things you can do for the environment.” Are some health departments preventing bulk filling of reusable containers? Carrying reusable utensils and napkin on your travels. And choosing carefully the trash can in which to deposit your refuse.

August 1, 2018 is Earth Overshoot Day. Data collected and analyzed by the Global Footprint Network tells us this is the date when humanity’s annual demand on nature begins to exceed what Earth’s ecosystems can regenerate in the entire year. If it falls anytime before December 31, it means we’re using more ecological resources and services than nature can regenerate – through activity like overfishing, overharvesting forests, and emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than ecosystems can absorb.

According to Global Footprint Network’s co-founder, Mathis Wackernagel:

“Our current economies are running a Ponzi scheme with our planet…. We are borrowing the Earth’s future resources to operate our economies in the present. Like any Ponzi scheme, this works for some time. But as nations, companies, or households dig themselves deeper and deeper into debt, they eventually fall apart.”

Dana and Dave interview random people to find out:

  1. Are they aware of Earth Overshoot Day?
  2. Do they know we’re in overshoot and what that is?
  3. What are their ideas for delaying the date?

Here’s the video version of these interviews:

Please share it, and let us know what you’re doing to #movethedate. We welcome your comments, emails and tweets. And watch the GrowthBusters podcast Facebook page or Global Footprint Network’s page for the #MoveTheDate live stream on August 1 at noon U.S. Eastern Daylight Time.


Overshoot Day Website

GrowthBusters Earth Overshoot Day Video

Video: Earth Overshoot Day Falls on August 1, 2018

Footprint Data


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Footprint calculator

The Four Lifestyle Choices that Most Reduce Your Carbon Footprint (Lund University study)

When It Comes to Nut Milk, What’s the Most Sustainable Option?

Is Almond Milk Bad for the Planet?

Environmental & Social Impacts of Soy

Benefits of Pea Milk

Drink Pea Milk and Save the World: But What If The Peas are Shipped from France?

Missed an episode (or two)? They’re all archived here.

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Comments (4)

  • Avatar

    Jeff W


    Nice video. I’m up in Lakewood, CO which has a “Sustainability” council and a “sustainability plan” for what it’s worth. They seem to put a lot of emphasis on recycling and bike paths yet we still have trash trucks rolling down the streets 5 days a week and recycling is an optional pickup service due to their free-market approach to dealing with waste streams. And forget about the “Reduce, Reuse” part of the trilogy, Lakewood like most suburbs is fully committed to conspicuous consumption. I’ve nonetheless wrote to the sustainability council asking them to consider mentioning Overshoot Day in their next newsletter and included some relevant links including your citizen interviews. We’ll see what happens.


    • Avatar

      Dave Gardner


      Thanks, Jeff. We’ll have to compare more notes about what your “sustainability council” is doing. Have you been engaging them?


  • Avatar




    Faster, faster the world spins,
    time will tell if anybody wins.
    The animals are dying and the flowers wilted,
    how will our kids feel when they find they’ve been jilted.

    Buy this buy that, you can’t live without,
    Argh, I’ve heard enough and just want to shout.
    Corporate greed equals stockholder pleasure,
    They’re not happy unless I have lots of treasure.

    The marketer says we’ll take what he offers,
    All to the enrichment of his great coffers.
    The rich get richer, the poor wonder how,
    My retirement asks if I should buy or sell now.

    Out marketed is our common sense,
    Man those ad guys sure do persist.
    Growth is but a pyramid scheme,
    My job is dependent but how I’d like to quit that team.


    • Avatar

      Dave Gardner


      Nice poetry, Scott. Thanks for caring enough to write it (I assume you’re the author?) May we read it on a future podcast? If so, let us know how you prefer to be identified.


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