Earth Overshoot Day
In this photo, a small globe surrounded by smoke to illustrate global warming. Getty Images / Lionel Bonaventure

It’s only eight months into 2017 and we’ve already used up all the ecological resources for the year, reminding us of the enormous toll we take on our planet. Earth Overshoot Day is on Aug. 2 this year, according to environmental groups World Wildlife Fund and the Global Footprint Network.

Earth Overshoot Day, previously known as Ecological Debt Day is the calculated calendar date on which humanity’s resource consumption for the year exceeds Earth’s capacity to regenerate those resources that year, meaning humanity will survive on “credit” until Dec. 31, 2017.

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The concept was first developed by Andrew Simms of UK’s New Economics Foundation.

Global Footprint Network, a partner organization of the New Economics Foundation, launches a campaign every year for Earth Overshoot Day to raise awareness of Earth’s limited resources. Global Footprint Network measures humanity’s demand for and supply of natural resources.

Sadly, the ominous day falls earlier this year than in 2016.

“By Aug. 2, 2017, we will have used more from nature than our planet can renew in the whole year. This means that in seven months, we emitted more carbon than the oceans and forests can absorb in a year, we caught more fish, felled more trees, harvested more, and consumed more water than the Earth was able to produce in the same period,” the groups' statement said, the Independent reported.

Interestingly, The Earth Overshoot Day measure has been calculated since 1969 and the day has never fallen so early as in 2017. In the year 1971, Overshoot Day fell on Dec. 24, moving into November during the 1980s, shifting to October by 1993 and to September just after the millennium. It had arrived in August by 2005, reaching Aug. 8 last year and falling 6 days earlier this year.

The overshoot has been growing by three days every year since 2001. The date calculated is based on a simple formula where the number of ecological resources the planet is able to provide in a single year is divided by humanity's demand for it and then multiplying the total by 365. Noteworthy is that ecological overshoot is not necessarily an exact date but meant to inform people about the defining challenge of the 21st century, CBS reported, the group's president, Mathis Wackernagel, saying.

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According to a report in Renew Economy, Australia has been identified as the worst offender. The report also states that If everyone lived like the average Australian, the world’s nature budget for the year would have been consumed in early March.

Australia is consuming the equivalent of 5.2 worlds which is quite alarming.

The Global Footprint Foundation has also launched a website where one can calculate their individual Overshoot Day and ecological footprint. The link helps you take a quiz which determines your lifestyle and lets you know the number of planets it takes to support your lifestyle.

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