We Only Have One Earth – A Call For Voluntary Simplicity

Today we have used up the annual Earth resources budget in record time.

Today, Earth Overshoot Day 2016 has come 5 days earlier than last year. According to the Global Footprint Network that means that if every person in the world lived like an Australian, there would need to be more than 5 Earths – but we only have one!

To get more details and find out about more countries get the full report at 

The first Earth Overshoot Day was December 19, 1987. Now it has come back into August and heading toward July!

2014 – August 19

2015 – August 13
2016 – August 8

In just over 7 months we have used more ecological resources and services than nature can regenerate – by over-harvesting forests, overfishing, and emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than forests can sequester.

This means we will have to borrow 4.5 months of resources from the future – from future generations, from other species.

We all need to take voluntary simplicity a little bit more seriously.

4 Responses

  1. lynkay
    lynkay at |

    I fail to understand how OZ can be at the top of this list as we have such a tiny population. Could you explain this please. Cheers.

  2. Meg Hopeful
    Meg Hopeful at |

    That's so troubling, Morag. Our beautiful blue planet home can't sustain that kind of depletion, and I somehow don't think there's another planet…let alone another five planets…like our home. When I read things like this, I think of the very sobering words of David Suzuki who said something like, "Whatever we do to the Earth, we do to ourselves." So, if we pollute the air, we have dirty air to breathe. If we pollute the water, then we have dirty water to drink and so on. And, I think, if we deplete all of our resources, we will all have nothing left.

  3. Morag Gamble
    Morag Gamble at |

    It's a per capita measurement. It means Australians (in general) currently use the most and waste the most per capita. If everyone on Earth lived like Australians, we would need 5 Earths. This means in Australia we essentially need to find ways to live with 80% less resources and waste – this does not mean going backwards – it means moving forward with really good design, good thinking…

  4. Esperema
    Esperema at |

    Try telling the Australian government.