On good days such as today where my morning outing led to spotting golden orioles twirling through the skies even as the chirping of the local tailorbirds and barbets resounded through my neighbourhood – it feels surreal to consider that we might be living in a moment of environmental crisis. Yet as multiple prominent research publications have now scientifically showcased, the planet is under increasing strain and the reason is quite clearly human behaviour and choice.
On a daily basis, city-life and its busyness and pace does not always allow us to take in that statement fully. Most of us are moving from one enclosed space to another, with little mental bandwidth to consider how our personal well-being might be intertwined with something as large as the planets. Yet in the way that eco-systems work, we are all far more closely knit than we sometimes imagine. In order to bridge this difficulty, activists and scientists have been looking for ways in which we as individuals, can begin to understand and engage with what might seem to be an overwhelmingly large and complex issue. One of the ways to do this is the concept of Earth Overshoot Day.
Last year Earth Overshoot Day was 29th July 2019. This day marked the date when humanity’s use of natural resources exceeded the planet’s capacity to regenerate them. Through the years, this day has been creeping higher up the calendar implying that our consumption of natural resources is growing each year and we ‘overshoot’ the Earth’s capacity to regenerate earlier and earlier. Our day to day decisions in how much and what we buy, how we manage our waste, how we travel to work or for holidays, the kinds of lifestyles we imbibe – are all examples of our individual use of Earth’s resources. It is these millions of tiny footprints across the globe that come together to represent our species’ footprint on the planet. This is where the hope lies in resolving the crisis one person at a time. If each of us becomes more conscious of how we are using and replenishing resources and joins the international campaign to #MoveTheDate – then we have a genuine chance of stopping the date of Earth Overshoot from moving further up and even begin to push it further down the year.
In our fourth TCC podcast episode, Poonam Bir Kasturi, the founder of Daily Dump – a waste mindset changing company, speaks to us about all this and more! She tells us what motivated her to start creating home composters, how composting can be the starting point of healing our severed relationship with nature and how its possible for individuals like you and me to make a difference simply by becoming more conscious of our daily choices. In the days to come, we unpack this topic further through our online campaigns and our articles.
In our essay ‘Does my waste matter?’ we discuss the many negative health and environmental outcomes of creating waste through the perspective of those who live and work next to landfills. In the article ‘Your friendly neighbourhood insect, the black soldier fly’ we acquaint ourselves with a common backyard insect which might be re-defining how waste gets managed in cities. We are especially excited to have you join us as we explore how to reduce our dependency on single use plastic. In coming days, our co-founder Deepika, will be taking us through a short tool to map and consider how we can make little changes that make a big difference.
If you have found our campaigns and podcast interesting – do share our newsletter and resources with your friends and network. We are still a very small NGO and would greatly appreciate your support in increasing our reach. We would also be very thrilled to hear your thoughts and suggestions on our content so far.
Thank you and I hope you have a beautiful week ahead!