Have you ever ran out of money before reaching the next month? Maybe you had to borrow money from your savings just to get you to the next paycheck, ultimately sacrificing your future financial state. If you answered yes, you're with the grand majority of people. If you answered no to this question, don't get too comfortable just yet. You might not be managing your resources just as well as you think you are.

Today is the mark for Earth Overshoot Day. Put simply, it is the day that humans have officially used up their ecological allowance for the year and begin furthering themselves into the hole of environmental deficit spending.

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While we still have a little over 4 months to go in the year, humans have already used up more #Natural Resources than the Earth is able to renew in a given year. Environmental scientists have estimated that we would need to expand our planet by .7 in order to match our current rate of consumption and population growth.

The history of Earth Overshoot Day

Also known as Ecological Debt Day, calculations for overshoot day began in the mid-1980's by economist Andrew Simms. The day is now calculated every year by #Global Footprint Network, a research organization that focuses on natural resources and climate change.

Scientists and campaigners calculate the overshoot day using an equation: (Planet’s Biocapacity ÷ Humanity’s Ecological Footprint) x 365 = overshoot date. The reason it fluctuates is that every year, the amount the earth is able to give changes and so does the demands that humans place on the Earth.

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To give you an idea of just how greatly those numbers change, Earth overshoot day began on December 19th in 1987 and has crept up every year since, reaching as early as August 2nd this year. This is the earliest Earth Overshoot Day has ever been, clearly indicating the accelerated rate at which environmental degradation is taking place.

Global Footprint Network does not just break down the global overshoot date, but the organization also ranks the individual overshoot dates for every country. For 2017, Luxembourg has the earliest overshoot date at February 17th. The United States ranks number five at March 14th.

How did we get here?

Ecological exhaustion is caused by a multitude of variables, such as the overharvesting of forests and the overfishing of waterways. The countries with the earliest overshoot dates are also guilty of importing more goods than they are exporting. Since smaller countries, like Luxembourg, often import a lot of their goods, there is an overexertion from other countries to produce trade goods.

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The main cause of ecological degradation is the over emission of carbon dioxide. Global Footprint Network has estimated that carbon emissions attribute to 60%. In order to push back the overshoot date, humans would have to significantly decrease the rate of carbon emissions. This would mean cutting back on individual cars and driving, the organization has said that the goal would be to reduce driving by 50% globally.

While the many factors that attribute to the overspending of resources are depressing and frightening, there is a possibility for reversal. By taking the steps to minimize your personal ecological footprint, you can aid to decreasing your country's ranking on the overshoot date. If we make a proactive effort to reduce the global overshoot date by just five days each year, the organization predicts that we may be able to reduce our 1.7 planet expenditure to 1 by 2050.