Your head is probably spinning from the number of Big Important Days that have been on your calendar lately: Mothers Day, Election Day, NRL at Glen Willow, Eurovision, Mudgee Night Glow.
There is another Big Important Day which is far more significant than all those days combined, but it sneaks up very quietly: Earth Overshoot Day.
Previously known as Ecological Debt Day (EDD), is the calculated illustrative calendar date on which humanity's resource consumption for the year exceeds Earth's capacity to regenerate those resources that year.
Earth Overshoot Day is calculated by dividing the world biocapacity (the amount of natural resources generated by Earth that year), by the world ecological footprint (humanity's consumption of Earth's natural resources for that year), and multiplying by 365, the number of days in one Gregorian common calendar year:
To put it another way, that is when humanity busts the budget, and we are in ecological deficit - spent (used) more than is coming in! Trouble is, by doing that we are taking from future generations.
A bit like spending the kids inheritance, only worse.
Andrew Simms of UK think tank New Economics Foundation originally developed the concept of Earth Overshoot Day.
Global Footprint Network, a partner organisation of New Economics Foundation, launches a campaign every year for Earth Overshoot Day to raise awareness of Earth's limited resources.
Global Footprint Network measures humanity's demand for and supply of natural resources and ecological services.
In the 1960s, our consumption was almost perfectly synched to the Earth's resources, with humanity consuming one year's worth of Earth's resources in one year.
But by 1971, that number slid backward, and has been sliding ever since.
Last year, 2018, saw the earliest Earth Overshoot Day ever: one Earth's worth of resources gobbled up by August 1st.
(In 2017, it happened on August 2nd.)
This doesn't mean that we've run out of clean water or timber on that day, and will have to live on scraps until New Year; it's that by exceeding the Earth's resources in August, we're bankrupting our future by consuming materials that are better off preserved for days to come.
Earth Overshoot Day is an initiative of Global Footprint Network, an international research organisation that is changing the way the world measures and manages its natural resources.
The date of Earth Overshoot Day is calculated with data from Global Footprint Network's National Footprint Accounts which are available free at www.data.footprintnetwork.org.
You can calculate your personal Overshoot Day, and compare various country's footprints here.
When will Earth Overshoot Day land in 2019?
Join the contest to guess the date!
The winner(s) will be featured on www.overshootday.org and Global Footprint Network's social media!
The deadline to submit your guess is May 22nd, the International Day for Biological Diversity!
The date of Earth Overshoot Day 2019 and the winner(s) of the Guess-the-Date Contest will be announced on June 5th, World Environment Day.
Sources: Overshoot Day.org and Global Footprint Network.
You can take steps to chip away at your impact on the planet. If everyone committed to #MoveTheDate five days each year, we could get out of global overshoot by 2050.
Join some other locals who care about our planet.
Visit: Mudgee District Environment Group (MDEG) www.mdeg.org.au. Contact us on 0427 920 887.