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Earth Overshoot Day: Transforming from the Wild West to the Space Age

The earliest Earth Overshoot Day ever, on August 2, was big news in France this year, making the front page of Le Monde and prompting a 3-minute video from Nicolas Hulot, the French Minister of Ecological Transition. Earth Overshoot Day also drew major media coverage in the UK, US, Brazil, China, Germany, India, and many other countries—and even an article from Trump-loving Breitbart News!

“We are living on credit and inevitably, at some point, we risk going from having rare resources to having resource shortages,” Hulot said in his Overshoot Day video. “The objective is to go from a cowboy economy, which has no limits, to a cosmonaut economy, where, as on a space station there is almost no waste, everything is reused, and where we are economical in the truest sense of the word.”

Earth Overshoot Day is the date in the year when humanity has used more from nature than our planet can renew in the entire year. This year, we focused on solutions, promoted under the hashtag #MoveTheDate. We were especially excited to partner with the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition to co-create an infographic to highlight food as one major lever to #movethedate.

And of course, we could never achieve such global awareness of Earth Overshoot Day without our amazing partners—both official and unofficial—including WWF offices around the world. We also would like to give a special shout-out to our wonderfully creative friends at Inkota and Germanwatch, whose spoof on Amazon shopping (pictured at top) landed on primetime TV news in Berlin.

In the United States, where we were on the front page of USA Today, we are grateful to our friends at the California Academy of Sciences, Google, and Pixar for the opportunity to spread our message in person. We also would like to thank the Sierra Club Mother Lode Chapter, representing 16,000 members, for formally and unanimously recognizing Earth Overshoot Day.

And finally, although Earth Overshoot Day may be over, you can still carry on the message by creating a short film about it and entering the 7th edition of the Green-Go Short Film Contest. Contest organizers were fabulous Overshoot Day supporters, posting photos of their pledges on their Facebook page. Now they are inviting filmmakers to create a short film about problems and solutions related to Earth Overshoot Day for their contest. Overshoot Day is one of three categories; the deadline to enter is October 1.