Last October 22 marked the "Day of Overcoming the Earth's Resources," the date when humanity's demand for environmental resources and services exceeds what the Earth could replenish that year.

This means that the world has exhausted its entire budget for the year 2020, and began borrowing from natural capital, from that day until the end of the year. The deficit continues through the depreciation of the stock of environmental resources and the accumulation of waste, particularly carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

It is striking this year that the world began to "borrow" from nature later than the previous year, due to the decrease in emissions and consumption as a result of the "Corona" pandemic. In 2019 the nature budget was consumed on July 29. While some may interpret this as saying that we won two months from last year, the reality is that this change is urgent and temporary, and emissions will double when the economy returns to rotation, if the same consumption and production patterns continue.

Humankind uses 50 percent more of the natural resources that the Earth can replenish, which means we need one and a half planet to comfortably meet our needs. For example, if humans live the average American's lifestyle, we will need 5 planets to meet their demand for resources. Either if they lived like the average Arab average, they would need 1.2 planets.

It's a scary idea, but it's a fact that people haven't fully understood yet, as the resources are still there, even now. But if we want to protect our children from living in a wasteland, where everything we take for granted today, like food and water, becomes scarce, then we must help reduce our environmental footprint.

What to do?

Here is a group of things that you can do on a personal level to contribute to this:

1- Save electricity

2- Use less water

3- Buy organic and local products

4- Use your shopping bag, which is made of cloth

5- Recycle plastic, cardboard, paper and glass

6- Plant local trees

7- Choose energy-efficient appliances and electronics

8- Buy products that are biodegradable and environmentally friendly

9- Reuse the materials where possible instead of throwing them away

10- Do not purchase any products related to endangered animals

As for countries and societies, there are five main areas that define our long-term trends more strongly:

1- The planet

Ensuring that we have a healthy planet that can continue to support us in the future requires reducing and rationalizing human demand for resources and maintaining the life support system on Earth. This is done through: traditional protection, represented in the efforts made to protect and preserve wild spaces, especially biodiversity hotspots.

And the revival of overused ecosystems, such as afforestation of forest sites previously converted into pastures for livestock, and reforestation of tropical forests and mangroves. It is imperative to popularize regenerative agriculture and encourage sustainable hunting, to preserve human nutrition by finding ways of agriculture that maintain soil productivity, groundwater levels, natural water cycles and genetic diversity, while avoiding pollution.

2- Cities

It is expected that between 70 and 80 per cent of people will live in urban areas by 2050. Thus, smart city planning and urban development strategies have an effective role in ensuring that there is sufficient natural capital and avoiding excessive human demand that may erode it.

 Examples include energy-efficient buildings, integrated planning of compact regions and cities, and efficient options for public transportation. In particular, urban planning can play a major role in reducing the need for cars, as personal mobility accounts for 17 percent of humanity's carbon footprint.