Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity's demand for ecological resources and services exceeds what Earth can regenerate.
We know we’ve overshot a lot of things when it comes to the earth. Our water supplies are dwindling, our forests are shrinking, and many industrial practices lay a heavy mark on the environment. It sounds dismal, and while these worldwide issues impact the way we and other beings live in a real and (in many cases) dire way, we can use this day to stop and realize the seriousness of where we’re at and what we can do about it.
Defined by Overshootday.org, “The purpose of this day is to illustrate the calendar date on which humanity’s resource consumption for the year exceeds Earth’s capacity to regenerate those resources that year.” This year that date falls on July 28th, leaving 156 days in the year overshot.
So what can we do at this point in the game?
The answer is everything we can, beginning with getting educated (calculate your ecological footprint). Our actions radiate outward like ripples in water, moving past our surroundings and into systems and places we have no idea about. Tossing that overripe banana may register as wasting a piece of fruit, but a long chain of energy and resources brought that banana to you. It had to be grown, watered, and (most likely) fertilized with pesticides running into the ground and nearby water, affecting ecosystems. Extra bananas had to be grown to account for the high loss due to damage during long transports from distant places. Transportation across such distances means refrigerated trucks and storage containers. When they finally reach the grocery store, only the best-looking specimens are selected, with the rest shipped to landfills overseas. And, though it seems like produce always rots away when trapped without oxygen in these enormous landfills, it can take up to seven years for a head of lettuce to break down.
Sounds pretty grim, doesn’t it?
While that’s true, the beauty of this equation is the overall effect we can have by making one simple change that radiates outward in so many directions, how we get our produce.
We at Gardyn focus on finding ways to bring fresh produce to people with minimal impact. Our system is specially designed to be as sustainable as possible, using technology to do things such as use 95% less water than traditional agriculture and grow a head of lettuce you can harvest from for three months. Perhaps most importantly, it gets people talking and thinking about where their food comes from. So the next time you’re at the store, think a little more about what it took to get that apple there. And the next time you’re at the dinner table, bring up the topic and help spread the word.
Whatever choices you make to #MoveTheDate, tag us on Instagram @GardynTech and share your story.