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Why is Earth Overshoot Day Detrimental to the Planet?

This year, Earth Overshoot Day (EOD) fell on Monday July 29 – earlier than ever before.

But what does that mean?

Earth Overshoot Day (EOD) is an annual campaign by the Global Footprint Network (GFP) that intends to highlight our planet’s limited natural resources. The day marks the point where humanity’s use of energy and resources exceeds the quantity that Earth can substitute in that year. 

The EOD date reveals the amount of water, soil, clean air and other reserves that Earth can produce this year has been exhausted by humans in just seven months. In the long term, the energy we’re now producing is unsustainable, it can’t be absorbed, and will therefore cause harm. 

The OED date is calculated by comparing the amount of ecological resources that the Earth will be able to generate that year, by humanity’s demand for that year. This is the earliest EOD ever to have fallen since humans began overusing Earth’s natural resources in the 1970s. In fact, GFP confirms that EOD has moved up two months over the past 20 years. Falling on July 29 implies humans are depleting nature 1.75 times quicker than Earth’s ecosystems can regenerate. So, people are currently consuming 1.75 Earths every year. Whereas before the 1970s, our planet was able to replenish all of its resources spent by humans each year.

According to GFP, this overshooting is feasible because our natural wealth is being exploited. The costs in the form of deforestation, soil erosion, loss of biodiversity, or carbon dioxide build-up in the atmosphere are becoming increasingly apparent. 

So how can humanity help push this date back 50 years?

GFP claims there are five areas where possibilities can be discovered: cities, power, food, population and planet. For example, reducing C02 emissions from burning fossil fuels by 50% would move the day back by 93 days.

It will also be crucial to protect nature through preservation, reforestation and regenerative farming to help sustainability. Bamboo can do wonders here to assist the move towards worldwide sustainability.

How?

Because bamboo can do all these things. Bamboo is a recognised high priority species to restore degraded land.Field specialists have published reports to demonstrate this. Bamboo plantations can boost biodiversity when technically managed, restore soil function and elevate the water tables in some of the planet’s most degraded areas. Bamboo can prevent deforestation as well as desertification by lowering the pressure on present forest resources. The plant has about 10,000 separateuses, powerful, flexible and versatile, providing a chance for rural communities to participate in a growing global sector. Since roughly 30% of the world’s forest cover has been removed and another 20% degraded, breaking this cycle and restoring these lands would bring many benefits.

Furthermore, bamboo plants and products can store more carbon than certain types of tree. This is because bamboo can be harvested regularly, which means it can create a large number of durable products. These sustainable products store carbon for several years, as well as the carbon in the plant itself. They are long-lasting, recyclable, and can replace a range of high-emission products including steel and concrete. In fact, 1 acre of bamboo forest can remove nearly 5 tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere. The same amount emitted by a car!

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