Saturday, October 6 marked Ecological Debt Day - the day when humanity has consumed all the resources the planet will produce this year.
Ecological Debt Day highlights the fact that humanity is living off its ecological credit card. Just as spending more money than you have in the bank leads to financial debt, ecological overshoot, or using more resources than the planet can renew in a year, accumulates an ecological debt. This can go on for a short time, but ultimately it leads to a build up of waste and the depletion of the very resources on which the human economy depends.
One of the most significant consequences of our global overshoot is climate change, but collapsing fisheries, deforestation, and topsoil loss around the world are also signs of our mounting ecological debt.
As ending overshoot is at the core of our mission, Global Footprint Network coordinated an international media campaign with our partner network to spread the message of overshoot and Ecological Debt Day. Our partners’ efforts have been outstanding - the story was released in at least ten languages, with coverage in Australia, Austria, Belgium, China, Finland, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, South Africa, the UK, the US, and the United Arab Emirates.
This campaign around Ecological Debt Day opens doors for a more extended conversation about humanity’s overshoot. One exciting project emerging out of this campaign is an Ecological Debt Day video contest. Global Footprint Network, together with partners Planet2025 Network and EPA Victoria, will be hosting the contest through Planet2025 TV. The contest will run from now until the end of the year and asks the public to submit 2-3 minutes videos addressing the questions: What is overshoot, and why does it matter? We’re looking forward to tapping into the public’s creativity in addressing this question and encourage all amateur and professional video makers to submit your ideas!
Our hope with this campaign and video contest is to spark a creative dialogue about ecological overshoot and how to end it. With international commitment to end overshoot, Ecological Debt Day can become history instead of news.