Diary cows in a green field

One of the most important days of the year occurs today but, chances are, you’ve never even heard of it. Why is it so important? Because it not only reveals our global priorities, but it also sets a course for humanity in determining what lies ahead for our planet.

August 2, 2017 is Earth Overshoot Day


Many don’t understand what this day means, so for an easy explanation, let’s use a basic budgeting analogy.

Imagine opening a bank account on January 1st and depositing all the money you’ll need for the next 12 months. January goes by and you realize – wham! – that wild New Year’s party you threw, that much-needed trip to the spa, and that ‘one last shopping splurge’ have totaled up and you’ve spent way more than you allocated. Unfortunately, February and March aren’t much better, and each month you continue missing your target budget. Halfway through the year, you suddenly realize…All. The. Money. Is. Gone.

This is similar to how we’re spending Earth’s resources.

Each year, we use more ecological resources than our planet can renew.

We take more fish from the oceans than can be replenished, harvest more trees from our forests than can be regrown, and emit more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than forests can sequester.

As a result, we end up dipping into the planet’s reserves every day between Earth Overshoot Day and December 31st to keep up with global demand. For those keeping track, that’s 151 days just this year that we’ll collectively overspend!

But there are solutions, and what happens next is up to each of us.

Already prepared to take action right now so that in 2018 we can #MoveTheDate to later in the year? Here are two simple steps you can take to better understand and balance your impact on Earth’s natural resources:

Last year, 190 countries committed to maintaining global warming below the 2-degree Celsius threshold. That was a step in the right direction that the US government has now backed away from. Fortunately, though, many US city and state governments, NGOs and businesses, including Stonyfield, have chosen to honor the agreements of the Paris Climate Accord.

Even if you don’t believe in human-induced climate change, waste is waste and using more than your fair share is not only irresponsible on a planet with 7.5 billion people, it’s just plain wrong.

All of this leads me to a great poem, All I Really Needed to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum. This poem feels right to read on a day like Earth Overshoot Day. It starts with ‘share’ and ends with ‘wonder’ – what two better words to describe life on Earth?

Share everything.
Play fair.
Don’t hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life –
Learn some and think some
And draw and paint and sing and dance
And play and work everyday some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world,
Watch out for traffic,
Hold hands and stick together.
Be aware of wonder.

Please join Stonyfielders in taking positive action to #MoveTheDate and care for our Earth’s future! Share this article on social, talk about Earth Overshoot Day with your family and support organizations that are actively defending our environment.