Earth Overshoot Day - When the world's resources have been used up

Some might have heard about the Earth Overshoot Day, others not. As the special day comes up this week, we tried to collect to most important information on it. The day vividly shows what problems humanity must face in the future. Following, you can find some facts about the Earth Overshoot Day on the 22nd of August 2020.

What is Earth Overshoot Day?

Let’s start with the most important bit of information: The Earth Overshoot Day is the day that marks the moment when all the natural resources of the world, that are available in one year, have been used up. Sounds devastating? It is indeed. From this day on we live on the expanses of the world. But unlike repayments to a bank like we commonly know it, repaying the earth is not possible in any easy way.

Currently, we use 60% more resources than our planet is able to regenerate in a year – this adds up to an amount that would require a total of 1,5 worlds.

Earth Overshoot Day is based on the ecological footprint of humanity and recalculated every year. In other words, everything we use to meet our resource requirements and make up for the waste and emissions we produce: for example farmland to produce food and forests that can bind emitted CO2. Because those emissions represent 60% of the ecological footprint. We will get back to this later.

Who is the brain behind this?

The founder of the concept of the Earth Overshoot Day was Andrew Simms of the British Think Tank New Economics Foundation. Now, the international research organization Global Footprint Network recalculates the day every year. Since the 1970s, we use more resources in our daily lives than our planet can provide. The Earth Overshoot Day is the day when humanity used up all the natural resources that the planet can regenerate and provide sustainably in a year.

How do we know the exact date?

According to the Global Footprint Network, the calculations that determine the date of the Earth Overshoot Day are based on the ecological footprint of 150 nations. The date is determined by relating the annual demand for resources to the total global biocapacity of that same year. Since the 1970s, we have been talking about an “overshoot” of our planet.

According to the calculations by the Global Footprint Network, we have now reached a state that would require 1.5 earths rather than the one we inhabit. It is assumed that by the middle of the 21st century we will essentially need two worlds and their resources. The biocapacity of the earth is 1.7gha (global hectares per person) per year. However, it is assumed that each person currently consumes 3.3gha on average.

When is Earth Overshoot Day taking place this year?

This year, the Earth Overshoot Day takes place on the 22nd of August.

What was it like in the past years?

The day on which people have used up the annually available natural resources has, for years, always been taking place several weeks earlier than the previous year. Except this year. Global Footprint Network reports that this year the Earth Overshoot Day will be three weeks later compared to 2019 when Earth Overshoot Day already took place on the 29th of July.

This is probably due to the exceptional situation caused by the coronavirus and the resulting lockdowns. Correspondingly, an improvement could be seen worldwide. This year, a 50-year upward trend is being interrupted for the first time.  Less consumption of wood and lower CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels could be the reasons for this, reports the Global Footprint Network.

Nevertheless, the pandemic-related decrease in CO2 emissions is not sufficient to achieve a long-term balance. Remember, this is precisely what is considered desirable. If CO2 emissions are reduced in the long term, much has been achieved. If additionally, 50% less fossil fuels were used, then the Earth Overshoot Day could be postponed by three months.

Past Earth Overshoot Days

Is there something similar on a smaller scale?

In addition to the Earth Overshoot Day, some countries also have a specific Country Overshoot Day. This is the day on which a country has used up all its natural resources available for the year. Of course, not every country has a Country Overshoot Day. If the ecological footprint, which we mentioned earlier, is less than 1.63gha, then the country’s consumption of natural resources is not critical. The German Country Overshoot Day 2020 already took place on the 3rd of May. Since then, we have been living on the expenses of the earth. And with this, Germany’s position is rather bad in global comparison. Another example: The situation is even worse in Qatar (1st place): there the Country Overshoot Day already took place on February 11.

What does Energy Labs do?

We have already pointed out that lower CO2 emissions would be an important way to postpone the Earth Overshoot Day. Our innovative hardware and software that we use to reduce the voltage level in buildings, and thereby reducing power consumption, has an additional, great side effect: in reducing the power consumption by 5%-13%, we can achieve the same reduction of the CO2 emissions. Here, you can find further information on our energy saving as a service: ActiveEnergy.

What can I do as an individual?

Earth Overshoot Day shows how sustainable humanity acts. But this also means that, in addition to government efforts, climate protest movements and increasing awareness of individuals, everyone must make their contribution: buying regionally and seasonally, eating less meat, re- and upcycling old clothes and objects. All these are possibilities that can be implemented in our everyday life.

Would you be interested in a list of tips regarding this topic? Leave us a comment.

You can find more information here.

6 Tips that will help you save Energy and Money

Our ideas that save you money:

Berlin, July 2020. We´ve all been there: the power bill arrives and with it the shock and the questions. How much energy do those electronic devices of mine need? What is it with those lamps? Is the high power consumption my or my family’s fault? We collected some tips and tricks for you to make sure that from now on, you’ll be able to save some power and money while living your everyday life without being restricted in any way.

Optimization of Energy Supply

Energy Labs’ main goal is the optimization of the energy supply in non-/residential buildings. We save energy, reduce CO2 emissions and save a bunch of money for our clients. But thats not all. Actions that are great for the environment and sustainability, can also be great for your wallet. Lets us elaborate in the following.

Together for our Planet

We gotta admit that what we are doing with our hard- and software, might not be exactly, what you can do in your everyday life. But one thing we know for sure: everybody can contribute to the environmental wellbeing. All of us can do little things to help save energy. In the following, you find some suggestions that we collected, which might help you in doing so.

Generally speaking, saving energy means consuming less energy, while also being efficient with the energy consumed. Most natural resources on our planet are limited and energy production has a heavy strain on the environment.

Not to forget: energy is expensive. But do not fear: using less energy won’t result in you freezing in your apartment or sitting in the dark. Most electric household items consume energy unnoticeably. And that we can change. So let’s get started!

Our ideas that will help you save money:

1. Switch off standby mode

2. Use energy-saving lamps or LED lamps

3. Regularly defrost refrigerators and freezers

4. Wash properly

5. Cook efficiently

6. Do not leave chargers plugged in

Now for the details. What does all that mean? What can you do?

1. Switch off standby mode

Many of the electronic devices around us are constantly operating – and sometimes we do not even realize.

The TV in your living room for example: in standby mode it uses up to 100 kilowatts per year (!). How about installing a power strip with a switch through which your TV, DVD-player and HiFi system are powered? In the evenings, before going to bed, you can take everything off the power supply, simply by switching it off. The same works great for printers, PCs and screens. According to the consumer portal Verivox, as a family, it is possible to save around 115€ per year simply by using a power strip.

2. Use energy-saving lamps or LED lamps

Energy-saving lamps prove their worth through high energy efficiency.

We know it is not cheap to buy energy-saving lamps in the first place, but bear with us: in a year, the use of a 15-watts-lamp can safe more than 20€ in comparison to a 70-watts-lamp. Couldn’t that be worth it? Plus, it is a fact that energy-saving lamps are at least 15 times more durable.  Although halogen lamps and ceiling floodlights provide pleasant light in the living room, they sometimes consume several hundred watts. Accordingly, it is best to pay attention to the performance data before and during the purchase.

3. Regularly defrost fridge and freezers

Defrosting your fridge and freezer is a real energy saver. Also, it prologues the lifetime of your freezers and fridges immensely if you take good care of them. And yes, that might be a little labour-intensive: you have to defrost those devices and not like every 3 years, but regularly. Make sure that the layer of ice does not become thicker than 1 cm. Even thin layers increase the power consumption.

4. Wash properly

Let’s start with the fact that not every garment has to be washed after being worn once.

It is worth it. Washing machines also do not have to run when they are half empty. A low water temperature without pre-washing is completely sufficient, too. After all, we have super-modern high-tech detergents nowadays. And last but not least: energy-saving programs should be allowed to do their miracles and save electricity and water.

Washing without pre-washing avoids 15 kilograms of CO2 at three washes a week and saves roughly 7 euros a year.

5. Cook efficiently

Electric cookers consume a lot of energy, so it is a good idea to cook with a lid on the pot and use the residual heat. Boil water (not too much, but the amount needed) in a kettle (it saves electricity and is faster, exceptions are gas stoves or induction), and when baking in the oven try doing it without preheating and again working with residual heat at the end.

6. Do not leave chargers plugged in

Did you know that? Chargers consume energy even when no device is being charged. So next time your phone finishes charging, unplug the charger cable from the wall socket, not just the phone.

In idle mode, the devices consume about 0.3 watts.

And what about the charging station for your electric toothbrush? These are real energy wasters, as great as the invention of them was. It is perfectly fine to unplug them once in a while.

We hope our small collection of tips has inspired you in your everyday life and maybe rethink some routines. If everyone contributes and does a little bit for our environment, it will help all of us.

A Sustainable Future: Making it Possible

At Energy Labs GmbH, we build solutions to achieve a more sustainable future for all of us.

Our contribution to the environment and safeguarding our planet is to provide products and solutions to reduce the energy used in buildings, adjust voltage levels, and achieve CO2 savings.

ActiveEnergy – Optimization of Energy Supply

ActiveEnergy enables our customers to save 5-13% of energy in retail buildings, schools, etc. At Energy Labs we are developing energy-saving technology, optimizing the energy supply of buildings by adjusting voltage levels. Energy providers regulate those voltage levels on the grid level, but not for every building separately. This may result in devices not running on the appropriate voltage level, causing high costs for the owner. Additionally, the lifetime of those devices running on higher voltages is dramatically shortened.

Our solution for improved sustainability: ActiveEnergy optimizes the energy supply through the reduction and stabilization of the voltage levels. We analyze the voltage level on the mainline in real time and use our equipment to adjust it so that buildings run at the ideal voltage level. Optimization of the energy supply is achieved, constant monitoring is made possible, and costs reduced. More importantly, reducing energy consumption also saves CO2 emissions.

You and Us

Energy Labs GmbH is looking forward to every potential customer who contacts us and has similar goals as we do. We are always happy to hear from like-minded people who can imagine becoming part of an international and dynamic team and working with high energy levels. And we welcome inquiries from those who want to know more about us and our solutions, ActiveEnergy.

Our Solutions for a Sustainable Future

A brief introduction about ourselves at Energy Labs:

Our goals are aimed towards creating a safe and sustainable future by offering devices that lower a building’s energy consumption.

At Energy Labs GmbH, we build solutions to achieve a more sustainable future for all of us. Our contribution to the environment and safeguarding our planet is to provide products and solutions to reduce the energy used in buildings, adjust voltage levels, and achieve CO2 savings.