Responsible Consumption and Production

LET’S DISCUSS: Earth Overshoot Day 2021

2021's Earth Overshoot Day is due on 29th July. Last year, on 22nd August 2020, marked the first time it occurred later in the year rather than the date moving forward.

What is ‘Earth Overshoot Day’?

Earth Overshoot Day is the date when humanity’s demand for natural resources and services in a given year period exceeds what Earth can ecologically regenerate in the same year.

Why is this important?

If the population continues to grow at the same rate, by 2050 we will need the resources of THREE planets to sustain the way in which we are living and using resources currently.  2020 was the first year that the Overshoot occurred later (by 24 days) primarily due to the pandemic and widespread global lockdown.  The date generally occurs earlier year on year, and as the world has started to reopen following the pandemic of the last 18 months, it is clear that 2021 has reversed the pattern, with this year’s Overshoot almost a whole month earlier than 2020.

How can we continue to push back Earth Overshoot Day?

There are actions that we can all take to promote responsible consumption and move Earth Overshoot Day backwards:

  • Move towards a plant-based diet by replacing some meaty meals with vegetarian options
  • Use carbon free travel, such as walking or cycling
  • Reduce your food waste by recycling, composting or freezing
  • Promote nature by planting trees, growing your own fruit and veg and joining a litter picking group
  • Reuse and upcycle clothing, or buy second hand


For more tips and information, visit our learning page for Goal 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production!

Posted by Claire Edwards 28 August 2020

Related posts

How to Get Involved

Have you been inspired by our featured changemakers? Would you like to learn more, collaborate with others or discover how you can train in an environmental career?

Select from one of the options to find more information and start your journey as a Planetary Person!