iPoint Blog

Celebrations, come on, let’s celebrate and have a good time. And don’t think about tomorrow…?

Do you know what day today is? Yes, it is google’s 13th birthday. But this is not what I want to write about. Today is Earth Overshoot Day, hooray! From now on to the end of the year humanity consumes resources that Mother Earth can theoretically not provide. In other words, today is something like the “Negative Sustainability Day”.

So that’s all for this year!

If mankind would take sustainability seriously we would have to stop consuming resources NOW for the rest of 2011. Each year the Global Footprint Network (GFN) calculates the day from which on we consume resources on tick. To do so GFN compares the bio capacity of the earth and humanity’s ecological footprint, in which the carbon footprint accounts for more than a half of the impact. Here is the quite easy formula:

[Global Bio Capacity / Global Ecological Footprint] x 365 = Earth Overshoot Day

Having taken this concept from economics it is a really catchy way to emphasize sustainability as something that is countable.

Pay back or pay the price!

It is likely that we can celebrate earlier next year. Climate change, decline in biodiversity, lack of drinking water and all other negative impacts is the interest rate we all pay. And this rate will increase dramatically until there is nothing more to borrow. Pay back has to start today! The Austrian Wolfgang Pekny recommends five easy rules in this context:

  1. Use airplanes as little as possible.
  2. Eat no or at least little meat.
  3. Do not drive your car alone.
  4. Live in a well-insulated house.
  5. And finally: Still have a good time!

So let’s have a good time with celebrating “Earth Overshoot Day” later next year!

Article image by bayasaa




  • It needs such ironical statements like “we can celebrate earlier next year” to wake up everybody. Hopefully, more and more people will change their personal behavior and become more conscient about the “invisible” effects of our every day life in the “first world”.

  • yes, definitely a catchy idea – setting up a deadline for the annual resource balance of mankind.
    for the german speaking readers, the five rules mentioned above can be summarized as the “five F”:
    * So wenig wie möglich fliegen,
    * Fleisch weitestgehend weglassen,
    * nie allein im Auto fahren,
    * wie im Fass leben (in einem gut gedämmten Haus).
    * Und zu guter Letzt: bei allem noch Freude haben.
    (see article Anschreiben lassen bei Mutter Erde)