August 2nd 2017: Earth Overshoot Day
We busted Earth’s budget!
On August 2nd 2017, a particular news story caught my attention. The headline read: Today is Earth Overshoot Day. I read with interest.
What is Earth Overshoot Day?
Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity has exhausted nature’s budget for the year. For the rest of the year, we are maintaining our ecological deficit by drawing down local resource stocks and accumulating carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. We are operating in overshoot.
Global Footprint Calculator
The article challenged me to find my own personal overshoot day; the day the Earth would run into deficit if everyone on the planet lived exactly as I do. Using the simple Global Footprint Calculator, readers were asked to find their own global footprint. Confident that as an avid recycler and buyer of organic food that my planetary consumption would be low, I was shocked to find that my lifestyle required 2.3 planets to sustain! So, I played around with the calculator until I found a way of life that required less than 1 planet, then wrote an ambitious action plan for my home life and for Simon Lucas Bridge Supplies.
Our Updated Environmental Policy
Green Business Practices
Simon Lucas Bridge Supplies has always been a business with a conscience. Right from the start we’ve had a policy of reusing and recycling materials. We do small things such as only filling the kettle with the amount of water we need, selling the baize offcuts as remnants, printing on both sides of paper, and then recycling it at the end of its life. We’ve carpeted part of the building using carpet tiles rescued from a skip. We buy pre-owned machinery and keep it really well maintained so that it lasts for as long as possible.
A Business with a Conscience
We have strong ethics when it comes to the products in our range. We believe that a product should be good quality and last as long as possible. The modern practice of building flaws into products or technological devices becoming outdated and redundant in a few short years is totally unethical and irresponsible. It is a policy that has made some businesses very rich, but it’s the opposite of what we believe in.
We buy in stock and retail it, and we also make our own products. The stock we buy in is checked and tested for quality. If we find quality issues, we discontinue the product – even if it’s popular. We also describe the quality of products honestly and give a warts and all appraisal so you know exactly what you’re buying. Is this good business? Maybe not – we don’t get rich like other companies, but we do sleep well at night with a clear conscience.
Making Top-Quality Products in Our Workshop
We have a simple policy for the products we make – make the best quality we can from the best materials to the best of our ability, so that they last as long as possible and don’t need replacing. We are mad about quality! We’re proud of the fact that our baize bridge cloths last for decades. We’re also very proud that we source as many materials as possible within the UK. This means that the amount of fuel used to transport them has been minimal, and we’re supporting other British businesses too.
Renewable Energy Supply
The biggest change we’ve introduced in 2017 is switching to 100% renewable energy, which will make a significant reduction in our global footprint.
You can read about the other steps we have taken to make our business sustainable in our Environmental Policy.
What is YOUR Global Footprint?
Use the Global Footprint Calculator to find your own personal overshoot day, and how many planets your lifestyle requires. It’s fun and it only takes a few minutes! When you start the calculator it asks you to login with Facebook. If, like many of us, you don’t have a Facebook account, don’t be put off; beneath that it gives you the option to ‘Continue as Guest’ – just pop in your email address, press ‘SUBMIT’ and you’re away!
What is your overshoot day? How many Earths does your way of life need? If you have any good ideas about how we could all reduce our global footprint, please share them too!
You can find more information on the Global Footprint Network website.