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NowThis Earth


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies

Resource Type

  • Videos, 5 minutes, 17 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus



YouTube Video

Why Did Earth Overshoot Day Happen Almost One Month Earlier in 2021?

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  • This video explains Earth Overshoot Day, the day in the calendar year when humans have consumed as many ecological resources and services as the Earth can regenerate in one year. 
  • Earth Overshoot Day was created by the Global Footprint Network.
Teaching Tips


  • Some students may not have heard of Earth Overshoot Day, but it is an important concept to understand as students consider management of natural resources.
  • After watching this video, students have immediate agency to make different choices. For example, students can decide to buy less clothing, jewelry, electronics, or toys.

Additional Prerequisites

  • To learn more about Earth Overshoot Day, visit their website.
  • The calculation of Earth Overshoot Day takes into consideration five categories: planet, energy, cities, food, and people.


  • Students in social studies classes could research overshoot days for different countries. Students could present their findings to the class and offer solutions for their assigned country.
  • Interested students could launch campaigns in their school to reduce consumption, including the use of reusable water bottles, the installation of hydration stations, or the push to change traditions around gift-giving holidays so that the school community buys less stuff.
  • Students could create a social media campaign using the hashtag #MoveTheDate.
Scientist Notes
This resource presents evidence for natural resource management and establishes the need to study biocapacity, ecological footprints, and proffer solutions for the planet. This will be insightful for students, and it is recommended.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-4 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth's systems.
      • HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Economics
      • D2.Eco.1.6-8 Explain how economic decisions affect the well-being of individuals, businesses, and society.
      • D2.Eco.15.9-12 Explain how current globalization trends and policies affect economic growth, labor markets, rights of citizens, the environment, and resource and income distribution in different nations.
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