It’s Earth Overshoot Day 2022—Is Your Business Helping #MoveTheDate?
Today, the globe reaches an important milestone: July 28 is Earth Overshoot Day for 2022. Haven’t heard much about it? That would make sense if you’re in the United States—according to Google Trends, the US is only ranked 25th in global search interest for the topic.
Global search data for Earth Overshoot Day from the past 5 years (Source: Google Trends)
But while historical search data suggests that Europeans are generally more aware of Earth Overshoot Day than Americans, it doesn’t have to stay that way. In fact, there are some interesting data takeaways that directly apply to the home performance, HVAC, and solar industries we serve!
What Is Earth Overshoot Day?
Earth Overshoot Day is a calculation that determines the date each year when humanity has used up all the biological resources our planet is able to regenerate over the course of a year.
Prior to the 1970s, Earth was always in a surplus—the resources we were using were less than the planet was capable of regenerating. But starting in 1971, we began to run a deficit, and the problem is only getting worse. Here is a chart showing how Earth Overshoot Day has been arriving earlier and earlier in the year over the past half century:
In 2022, the global Earth Overshoot Day falls on July 28, which means that as of today, we’ve used up all the resources the planet is capable of regenerating in a year, with still more than 5 months of consumption to go. At this pace, humanity’s yearly ecological footprint will be twice what the planet can generate well before the mid-21st century. (The individual country calculations are even more dire: if the entire globe used resources at the rate that the United States does, Earth Overshoot Day would have been March 13 in 2022).
While the particulars of how Earth Overshoot Day is calculated each year is a matter of some debate among environmental scientists, the initiative is a valuable and simple reminder of the cost of using as many resources as we do. We’re already seeing these consequences in the effects of climate change, deforestation rates, and species loss—not to mention ongoing and worsening threats of economic stress and civil unrest throughout the world.
What Effect Does Energy Use Have on Earth Overshoot Day?
Earth Overshoot Day is a stark warning, but it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. The environmental organization that assesses the Earth Overshoot Day calculations every year, Global Footprint Network, has also calculated different solutions and ways we can #MoveTheDate, broken into five main categories: Cities, Energy, Planet, Food, and Population.
There are nearly 100 possible solutions listed, from Eating Local (1.6 Days saved) to Renewable Energy (26 Days saved). Here are a few of the energy services most relevant to the better building industries we serve and how far global adoption of each initiative would push back Earth Overshoot Day:
Building Electrification—4 Days
Heat Pumps—2 Days
Distributed Solar—5 Days
Rural Solar Power—8 Days
For the purpose of this blog post, we won’t get into the details, but you can see the methodology and how exactly each solution is defined—as well as check out the impact of additional solutions—by visiting the Earth Overshoot Day website.
Help #MoveTheDate with Energy Circle
There’s no real marketing advice in today’s post—though it’s always smart business to remind your customers of the environmental benefits of reducing energy use and waste in a home or commercial building. At Energy Circle, we’re deeply committed to helping improve the energy efficiency of the built environment. We want to work with you to help push back Earth Overshoot Day in years to come, whether you’re an insulation contractor, HVAC company, solar installer, or play some other role in the better building industry.