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We’re Quickly Depleting Our Natural Resources

By Larraine Roulston:

Ecological Debt Day, later to become Earth Overshoot Day, was established to monitor the rate at which humans are consuming the earth’s natural resources. It was originally developed by Andrew Simms of the UK think tank New Economics Foundation. Results posted annually show that, globally, humans are demanding more ecological resources and services than the earth has capacity to regenerateStudies reveal that we are overfishing, over-harvesting forests, and emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than trees can absorb.save the planet

 The first research that noted an “ecological debt” occurred in 1970, when we used up our years quota of resources on December 24th. Since then, data has revealed that we have been reaching our “ecological debt” earlier each year. In 2016, with four and a half months to go until the end of December, August 8th was pegged as the date our demand of renewable resources exceeded what our earth could replenish within the year. The Global Footprint Network (GFN) and the World Wide Fund for Nature partnered to produce the results as an indication that we are living on resources borrowed from future generations.  

 It has come around five days earlier than last year; a sign that humanitys consumption of renewable natural resources continues to rise,” stated GFN spokesman Sebastian Winkler. According to the GFN, If this trend continues, by the 2030s, we will need the equivalent of two Earths to support us. And of course, we have only one. Globally, the longer we go on pretending that natural resources are unlimited, the faster we are jeopardizing the very capacity of our planet to provide us with the renewable resources that we need to feed, clothe, and shelter ourselves.

When U.S. President John F. Kennedy wanted to commit to placing a man on the moon, millions of dollars were spent in order to convince Americans to get on board. Where is the investment today to keep citizens informed about climate change as well as to encourage the mainstream population to change their modern lifestyle habits? 

 Despite the fact that financial incentive from government and corporations wont be evident anytime in the foreseeable future, each of us has a great opportunity not only to lessen our own Global Footprint , but also to promote, through discussion and social media, a sustainable future by encouraging others to do the following

  •          Eat more vegetarian and vegan meals
  •          Lower household energy & water consumption
  •          Compost
  •          Recycle
  •          Use public transportation or cycle to work
  •          Choose to fly less often
  •          Buy used rather than new items whenever possible
  •          Plant a tree — the lungs of the earth 

 True, our population has increased, but so has our awareness since the first Earth Day was celebrated in1971. Our future depends on whether or not we will see it boast an improvement — perhaps into September — rather than have the 2017 “ecological debt” indicate another, earlier date. Thinking slower instead of faster, smaller instead of bigger, less instead of more will all help because . . . Thats Progress!

 Related Links:



Ecological Debt Day – 13th Aug, 2016 | Days Of The Year

 Earth sliding into ‘ecological debt’ earlier and earlier, campaigners …

 Earth Overshoot Day: Planet in ecological debt, Global Footprint Network report warns

 Earth Overshoot Day 2016: Humans Have Used Up Their Yearly Supply Of Planet’s Resources In Less Than 8 Months

​​We’ve Already Used Up Earth’s Resources For 2016 — And It’s Only …


 Larraine authors childrens books on composting. Visit www.castlecompost.com

About Larraine Roulston

A mother of 4 with 6 wonderful grandchildren, Larraine has been active in the environmental movement since the early l970s. When the first blue boxes for recycling were launched in her region, she began writing a local weekly newspaper column to promote the 3Rs. Since that time, she has been a freelance writer for several publications, including BioCycle magazine. As a composting advocate, Larraine authors children's adventure stories that combine composting facts with literature. Currently she is working on the 6th book of her Pee Wee at Castle Compost series, which can be viewed at www.castlecompost.com. As well, Larraine and her husband Pete have built a straw bale home and live in Ontario.

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