Earth Overshoot Day has moved from a December when first measured in the 1970s to an August date in our time.

Earth Overshoot Day (EOD) marks the day that humanity has used more resources than can be regenerated in the same year, as calculated by the Global Footprint Network. For example, if all humans on Earth lived in the same way as Canadians, it would take 5.1 Earths to sustain our lifestyle. Which is already an increase from last year’s 4.7 Earths.

EOD is calculated by the formula World Biocapacity/World Ecological Footprint x 365 (days). Biocapacity is the ability to renew resources that are taken from the environment and the ecological footprint measures human consumption of resources in the year. We look to reduce our ecological footprint but we can also increase our biocapacity. There is no singular way to look at the problem and there’s no single factor that needs to be changed to affect the outcome. 

So what is responsible for depleting resources? It is estimated that carbon is responsible for over 60% of Canada’s overall ecological footprint. Other factors include farmland, forestry, fishing and freshwater.

Since the 1970s, the date has advanced from December to now, a date in August.

In order to generate awareness and action for people looking to create a more sustainable future, the Global Footprint Network has created a series of pledges. Using #movethedate on social media, any one of 7 possible pledges can be used to support the move towards sustainable living. Pledges vary from trying a vegetarian recipe to reaching out to city leaders. The pledges offer a great start but ideas are not limited to pledges, there are more than seven possibilities to commit to sustainability. What will do you do to #movethedate?

Find more information and sign up for the pledges here: and calculate your personal Earth Overshoot Day:




Jasman Sahota is a student at Laurentian University in the Science Communication post-graduate degree program. She is an intern at A\J and aspires to become a science journalist to combine her passion for writing with her educational background in science. 

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