Earth overshoot day - not something to celebrate.

I just posted an article from Greenpeace covering this as well, but it's so important I'll happily talk about it twice on the same day. We're using the resources of 1.6 Earths. While that may be an abstract and likely flawed number, our resource hungriness is a force to be reckoned with. Many of us don't often come into contact with areas where climate change is very clearly already making life harder. Many of us, particularly city-dwellers, don't interact with nature regularly, and don't notice when it changes, is degraded, or disappears. Swiss mountains already look and behave differently, with glaciers receding at rates that cannot be merely described as disturbing - rather shocking, alarming and tragic.

We all know we are overusing the planet, and we are changing it. We know we've done damage that is likely irreversible. With decision makers at the global level seemingly unable to arrive at an effective, collaborative way forward, I personally frequently feel furious, disbelieving, hopeless, and/or devastated, depending on the day and where I am. The feelings are stronger if I'm in the mountains, standing on a glacier and watching ancient ice turn into water. 

But I don't want that frustration and sadness to prevent me from making small lifestyle adjustments that could slow the changes. It's not just melting glaciers, which is a challenge many struggle to relate to on a personal level. Climate change also makes simply surviving harder for millions of people. Many of the people most detrimentally affected are farmers, producing our food. Coffee farmers, for example, struggle under the strain of additional costs and work, with their plantations ripening and harvesting necessary at all times of the year, due to changing weather. 

An easy change to make is to consume fewer animal products, particularly beef. Many people do not have access to drinking water, and in the meantime, cows consume huge amounts of water per day - particularly when it's hot out. Unfortunately, beef is produced in some of the most massive quantities in the hottest places. 

As the spawn of a family that is both international and comparatively privileged, no matter how much meat I say no to, I still fly across the Atlantic at least once a year. I calculated my carbon footprint, and despite my conscientiousness in daily life, the foods I choose not to eat due to their resource-hungriness and finally, the fact that my husband and I don't own a car, I cannot scrub out my overuse of fossil fuels. 

But let's not be hopeless. Let's keep trying to do better in whatever ways we can.