Today we mark Earth Overshoot Day 2023, a key milestone reminding us of the urgency of addressing our planet’s environmental challenges. Earth Overshoot Day marks a day when humanity’s demand for natural resources exceeds the Earth’s ability to regenerate those resources in one year. Let’s dive into this important topic and explore ways to reduce our environmental footprint for a sustainable future.
Understanding Earth Overshoot Day
The history of Earth Overshoot Day can be traced back to the 1970s when the notion of “ecological debt” was first introduced by environmentalists and researchers concerned about humanity’s impact on Earth’s resources. In the early 1970s, a group of researchers developed the concept of an ecological footprint. They introduced the idea that all human activities, including resource consumption and waste generation, could be perceived as an area of biologically productive land needed to sustain these activities.
In 1990, the Global Footprint Network was founded, further developing the ecological footprint concept. In 2006, the organization introduced Earth Overshoot Day. This initiative calculated the exact date when the consumption of humanity’s resources during the year exceeded the Earth’s capacity to regenerate these resources in the same year.
As of 2023, Earth Overshoot Day is falling earlier than ever, signaling that we are consuming Earth’s resources faster than the planet can restore them. This year we celebrate Earth Overshoot Day on August 2nd, and it is believed that it came to Croatia much earlier, already in May. This exceedance threatens the delicate balance of our ecosystems, accelerates the climate crisis, and leads to the depletion of vital resources, such as clean air, fresh water, fertile land, and healthy seas.
The situation requires urgent action by each of us
The situation requires that we all act together, make conscious decisions, and take responsibility to ensure that our planet is preserved.
Sunce is currently conducting two campaigns to raise awareness of the importance of preserving nature and the environment, “Sea Full of Life” and “Responsible Waste Management“. These campaigns are essential in addressing the challenges of the climate crisis and encourage us to act towards a more sustainable future.
The “Sea Full of Life” campaign advocates the necessity of effective protected areas in the sea. Work on the establishment and efficiency of protected areas, especially those at sea, has been one of the strategic directions of Sunce almost since its inception. We emphasize the inclusion of Posidonia meadows in protection zones because of their importance in mitigating the climate crisis.
The second campaign, “Responsible Waste Management“, continues to support and contribute to the implementation of the first priority in waste management – reduce waste generation through activities. The climate crisis we live in requires a shift in politics, the economy, and lifestyle in general towards environmentally conscious and sustainable solutions that will ensure a quality and healthy environment as the foundation of our society.
How can we reduce our footprint?
Reducing the carbon footprint is a significant way to contribute to the fight against the climate crisis and promote environmental sustainability. Here are 10 interesting and creative ways to do this:
1. Make your environment green
Place a green roof or create a vertical garden on the wall of your house or office building. If you live in an apartment, place plants in pots on your balcony, window, or indoor space. Plants absorb CO2 and produce oxygen, improving the air quality in your home.
2. Include plant-based meals
Consider reducing your consumption of meat and dairy products or adopting a plant-based diet. Livestock farming is a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions, and a plant-based diet has a smaller carbon footprint
If you can’t cut out meat altogether, consider choosing quality meat from proven local producers who apply livestock farming systems like grass-fed. Such farming methods are often less burdensome for the environment compared to intensive mass farming systems. Supporting local producers also contributes to maintaining the local economy and reducing emissions related to food transport.
3. Use environmentally friendly transportation
Choose environmentally friendly modes of transportation such as walking, cycling, car sharing, or using public transport. Did you know that by using the Promet mobile application in the city of Split you pay only 1 euro for the ride? Check how much public transport costs in your city. Often, the use of public transport is more profitable than driving a car.
Every year, Sunce organizes the Split Biking Tour during European Mobility Week and World Car Free Day. We want to make biking around Split easier and better. Sunce is all about sustainable transport, so we’ll be talking a lot about that. Keep an eye on our social media for details on joining the Split Biking Tour!
4. Switch to energy-efficient lighting
Replace traditional incandescent lamps with energy-efficient LED bulbs. These bulbs last longer and consume less energy, reducing both your carbon footprint and electricity bill.
5. Reduce plastic waste
Reduce plastic waste by choosing reusable alternatives like cloth bags, reusable water bottles, and containers. Say no to single-use plastic items whenever possible. Plastic objects are marked with a number mark inside the triangle indicating the type of plastic. Some types of plastic are harder to recycle or do not have widespread recycling programs. The types of plastic whose recycling can be challenging are polyvinyl chloride (number 3), PS – polystyrene (number 6), and labels with number 7.
6. Explore slow fashion
Support sustainable fashion brands that prioritize eco-friendly materials and production processes. Choose quality, durable garments that have a lower impact on the environment. Shop in second-hand stores!
7. Reduce food waste
Reduce food waste by planning meals, creatively using leftovers, and composting organic waste. Food production and disposal contribute to carbon emissions, and reducing waste helps solve this problem.
Instead of discarding objects, rework them or repurpose them creatively. By extending the life of products, you reduce demand for new resources and carbon emissions associated with production.
Sunce’s Swap Fair (Sajam razmjene) will reopen its doors on September 5, 2023, and provide an opportunity to repurpose, that is, exchange items instead of discarding them. Here you will find an interesting offer of summer equipment, clothing, shoes, books, jewelry, and toys. By exchanging items, we reduce our carbon footprint, save money, and give new life to old things.
9. Save water
Practice water-saving habits such as repairing leaks, using water-saving devices, and collecting rainwater for outdoor use. Water is a precious resource that we must use responsibly.
10. Connect with nature
Respect and protect your environment. Participate in conservation efforts, join cleanup initiatives, and spread awareness of the importance of preserving natural habitats. Get involved in Sunce’s activities, volunteer, become a member, or donate to encourage further work of Sunce to preserve nature and the environment.
Earth Overshoot Day serves as a wake-up call to live more sustainably and protect the planet’s precious resources. Remember, even small changes in every day habits can make a difference. By embracing these interesting ways to reduce your carbon footprint, you are contributing to a healthier planet for present and future generations.
By acting and reducing our ecological footprint, we can delay Earth Overshoot Day and build a future where humanity lives in harmony with Earth’s natural systems. Let’s focus on a brighter and greener future and save the beauty of our planet for generations to come!