Can We Balance Human Needs and Earth’s Resources?

Can We Balance Human Needs and Earth’s Resources?

Starting August 22nd until the end of the year, humanity will need another Earth to support lifestyles and demands. Why? Because we have already used all the ecological resources the planet can produce in a year. Hence, for the next months, our resource consumption will exceed Earth's capacity to regenerate those resources.
Like individuals, households, or countries, the Earth has a natural budget. The day when humanity exhausts the nature’s budget for the year is known as Earth Overshoot Day. This year, it was marked on August 22nd. It took us less than nine months to consume that budget. Yet, this is the first time since 2005 that the Earth overshot Day has been delayed. Besides various campaigns on #movethedate, lockdowns and travel restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic reduced our consumption this year. These are considered to be the main factors that impacted the delay. The coronavirus crisis caused one of the biggest drops of CO2 emissions. Energy demand fell globally, people traveled less as most airlines grounded their airplanes for a few months.

The calculations for defining the overshot day are made by the Global Footprint Network. They use official data from the United Nations. Those data show than the first year when human consumption couldn’t be replenished was in 1970, by three days. This year, it was by 132 days. The EOD is calculated on a simple formula, and despite different stances on its accuracy, the point is that we are depleting the earth’s resources. However, experts believe that even though the CO2 emission will increase after the pandemic, demand for non-renewable resources will fall.

Personal choices can force corporations to go green

Sustainability-minded consumers can put businesses and companies under pressure. We are the customers and shoppers and our personal choices no matter how insignificant may seem, they can have an impact. When we make informed choices we can also help other people think critically and make good choices by sharing that information.

However, remember that people are flooded with information. What we give to them must carry a value that’s easy to understand and pass over to others. Hence a personal choice will turn into a collective or community choice.

Things that buyers must keep in mind when shopping include the origin of the product, did it have to travel a long distance, who made it and are those people working decent jobs?
Is it possible to recycle those products and how much waste will they create? Facts show that almost one-third of the food produced globally goes to waste, and despite this, there are more than 800 million people that go to be hungry.

Do I need it?
It is crucial to remember that in today’s consumerism a lot of products come to our attention because of intrusive adds and invasive marketing and not because we are looking for that specific product or service.

In the end, people, institutions, and governments can cooperate and increase their role as a catalyst for change. At the same time, citizen-driven initiatives based on innovative and entrepreneurial mindsets can help communities and businesses to be more sustainable in the way how they use resources. If this approach appeals to you, you could like also like the Entrepreneurship Campus online training on social and sustainable entrepreneurship. Meanwhile, you’re still in time to join the 2020 Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition. If you have an innovative idea or project that contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals you are welcomed to join.

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