The date when humanity has exhausted nature’s budget for the year.


2021 is the year we’ve been waiting for to build a better future. Last year, the global health crisis brought unimaginable challenges and has shown us that radical change is possible and some of these changes are here to stay.

This year, climate change negotiations have been postponed until November, with hopes to see countries commit to their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) amounting to what they signed for in the Paris Agreement, which means limiting the rise of global temperatures between 1.5 and 2 degrees celsius by the turn of the Century.

The bad news is current models predict that our common efforts sum up to a projected 3 degree rise in global temperatures by 2100. This is not what we promised 5 years ago at the COP21 in Paris. We are failing ourselves. 

This is why we must commit to changes at the individual level as well. We mustn't wait for countries to commit or expect others to do the job and take it to the streets.

2021 is the year we must take everything personal. Only then will those small changes begin to detonate an avalanche of change, even at a time where the global coronavirus pandemic seems to put all things at odds.

 Have you heard about Earth Overshoot Day? 

According to Global Footprint Network, “Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity has exhausted nature’s budget for the year. For the rest of the year, we are maintaining our ecological deficit by drawing down local resource stocks and accumulating carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. We are operating in overshoot.”

 What does this mean? 

Well, their data suggests that on average, humanity consumes as much from nature as if we had 1.6 Earths! We only have one planet’s worth of resources. Do you get it now when people call this a climate crisis?

 Calculate your own personal Overshoot Day! 

This way, you’ll know how far you have to go to find creative solutions to reduce your own carbon footprint, and convince your friends and family to do the same. Start the year on the right foot!

 Join the movement #MoveTheDate 

The way Earth Overshoot Day is calculated is in the following way:

“To determine the date of Earth Overshoot Day for each year, Global Footprint Network calculates the number of days of that year that Earth’s biocapacity suffices to provide for humanity’s Ecological Footprint.” 

“The remainder of the year corresponds to global overshoot. Earth Overshoot Day is computed by dividing the planet’s biocapacity (the amount of ecological resources Earth is able to generate that year), by humanity’s Ecological Footprint (humanity’s demand for that year), and multiplying by 365, the number of days in a year.”

In 2020, Earth Overshoot Day was on August 22nd.

If you like numbers, you can check out how they calculated this, taking into account the global coronavirus pandemic here:

 Use the Solutions Map and act now! 

Check out everyone’s contributions so far in the map and be part of the solution. There is no excuse, everyone can learn from others what solutions are most applicable in their own communities. 

Take a peek, look through countries, projects and different people and start taking action today!


By Monica Lafon

Monica Lafon is a freelance writer. She has a degree in Journalism and Political Science from Concordia University in Montreal and a Master's in Environmental Policy from Sciences Po Paris.


“The World in 2021”. The Economist. Nov, 2020.

“Earth Overshoot Day”. Global Footprint Network.

“I join the #MoveTheDate movement”. Earth Overshoot Day.

“Map of solutions”. Global Footprint Network.

#CarbonFootprint #EarthOvershootDay #GlobalFootprintNetwork

Monica Lafon is an environmental freelance journalist. She got her BA degree in Journalism and Political Science at Concordia University and her Master degree in Environmental Policy at Sciences Po Paris.


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