“Everywhere we go and everything we do has an impact on our planet. But, this can be hard to recognize in our modern age of convenience, technology, and urbanization. Over half of the global population resides in cities that are disconnected from the natural environment. Still, every action we take affects earth’s ecosystems and all its inhabitants.”
Just how big is our impact on the earth? “Too big,” as environmentalist Bill McKibben says. In fact, our ecological footprint reached biocapacity in the 1970s, meaning we’re way past the tipping point. Also, consider this: only ⅓ of the world’s people consume ¾ of the global resources. This means ⅓ of all humans are placing immense pressure on the rest of the world to produce a high number of goods. There are so many ways we can reduce our impact on people and planet.
Changing the way we buy, eat, and travel is just a start. And luckily, it’s not all on the individual.
Small changes in your daily habits and consumption patterns may not seem significant in a world of nearly 8 billion people. But every decision you make contributes to the well-being of humans, our species and the planet. Consider what the world would look like if each person simply consumed less stuff and demanded more ethically produced goods. Suddenly those small changes all start to add up and make a huge difference.
- Calculate and record your footprint using the Global Footprint Network’s calculator.
- What are your results. How many planets does it take to support your lifestyle?
- What are three activities in your life that you learned are most carbon-intensive.
- How might you change each activity to make them less carbon-intensive.
- Now, go back and re-calculate your footprint based on the changes you identified for your three most carbon-intensive activities. How did that affect your final results?
- Spread the word. Share the link to Global Footprint Network’s calculator with your friends and family on Facebook or Instagram and challenge them to calculate their carbon footprint as well.
Earth Overshoot Day refers to the calendar date in which humans have extracted more from nature than what can be naturally replenished in a year. This year, Earth Overshoot Day was August 2. Even though this year’s overshoot day has already occurred, it’s never a wrong time to join the movement to help #movethedate back to ensure a viable future!
As you might expect, every person’s ecological footprint is different, especially when you compare consumption around the world. Consider this, only ⅓ of the world’s people consume ¾ of the global resources. This means ⅓ of all humans are placing immense pressure on the rest of the world to produce a high number of goods. This unequal consumption creates and reinforces a critical imbalance in our global society. Given this inequality, how can we begin to change our behavior to make our world more equitable?
This is your opportunity to think about how you can effect change and inspire others to do the same.
- Get creative! We want to see how you can mobilize others to take action and help heal our planet.
○ Make a flyer, shoot a video, write a FB post, take a photo and post on Instagram, paint a painting, draw an illustration, whatever your medium, your task is to motivate others to take bold action. Be brilliant! Use whatever medium is your passion, engage the people you influence. Let your voice be heard!