Earth Overshoot Day is the day the earth starts eating into the planetary overdraft. From today until the end of the year we are in the red" - effectively "overdrawn" on the balance sheet of nature's goods and services.
"Everyday choices we make, such as how often and how far we drive our cars, buying our food or turning up our thermostat one degree more when it's cold, when combined have a big impact on the environment on a global scale. This contributes to climate change, species loss and destruction of the world's forests. WWF's Footprint calculator shows how making little lifestyle changes can have a huge environmental impact and help people tread more lightly on the Earth" said Rachel Bloodworth, Head of Public Engagement at WWF-UK.
Simply by asking a handful of questions about food, home, travel and lifestyle the app will work out how many Earths would be needed for you to continue using resources at your current rate. A seven day challenge then gives tips on reducing footprint size, as well as accumulating achievement badges.
Based on Ecological Footprint data - measuring how much nature we have, how much we use, and who uses what - Earth Overshoot Day is an initiative of WWF's partner, the Global Footprint Network, to raise awareness and inspire action around ecological "overspending".
"Nature is the basis of our wellbeing and our prosperity - but we are using up way too much of the Earth's finite resources. WWF's Living Planet Report shows clearly that humanity's demands exceed our planet's capacity to sustain us - simply put, we are asking for more than we have available," said Jim Leape, Director General of WWF International.
The Seven Day Challenge will send users that sign up a daily email containing three personalised tips for a week that will offer practical, achievable ideas to reduce their footprint.
At the week's end the users will have accumulated up to ten achievement badges which are awarded for completing tips, as well as a veteran's badge, exclusively for those who signed-up to the previous version of the calculator.
Notes to editors:
- Earth Overshoot Day is on 20 August 2013
- An ecological footprint measures the land and sea area people require to produce resources that we consume. This includes our food, our clothes, fuel we use for our cars and building materials for our homes. It also measures how much land and water is required to deal with the waste products of our consumption, such as carbon dioxide and agricultural pollution
For further information, please contact:
Cara Clancy | Media Officer, WWF-UK
T: 01483 412 305 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org | M: 07917086494