Ecological debt day
Ecological debt day
The inaugural Ecological Debt Day fell on 19 December 1987. This year it is 6 October 2007. This day and month change represents that we are using up the earth's resources at an increasing rate each year.
Currently human beings are consuming over 25% more natural resources on a global scale than the earth can support.
The UK is calculated to over-consume an enormous 300% of natural resources. This percentage means that if everyone lived as we do in the UK - generating the same level of carbon emissions and consuming the same amount of natural resources - we would need three planets to survive.
This rampant consumption is stretching ecological boundaries. Climate change, habitat destruction, over-fishing, climatic migrations and rising sea levels are all symptoms of environmental degradation. The underlying cause is unsustainable living.
The findings are based on the concept of "ecological footprints", a system of measuring how much land and water a human population needs to produce the resources it consumes and absorb the resulting waste.
WWF-UK’s Head of Research, Stuart Bond, said humanity was living off its "ecological credit card" and was "liquidating the planet's natural resources".
"While this can be done for a short while, ecological debt ultimately leads to the depletion of resources, such as forests, oceans and agricultural land, upon which our economy depends," Mr Bond said.
WWF is key in a global environmental campaign to lessen our ‘footprint’ on the world: we all have an impact on the environment but through wise choices and making changes to the way we live our daily lives, we can cut out one planet of over consumption. The first step is to measure your impact and see tips on how to reduce it.
In addition we are in part forced into over-using resources because of the way our country is run, our services are supplied, our transport network is operated and our businesses are managed.
Government and business need to change. WWF can help you change your own behaviour and help lobby the government and even influence business practice. Vist our One Planet Future campaign site to find out more.