If you spent your whole paycheck two weeks before the next payday, you'd probably notice. But you may not have noticed that last month, all of humanity did just that. We used a year's worth of the planet's resources in just seven months. It's called Earth Overshoot Day, and this year it fell on Aug. 1.
In your monthly budget, you don't spend more than you make, and ideally have a few dollars left over each month. Each year since 1970, when this was first measured, humans have used more ecological resources than the planet can regenerate. We do this through overfishing, overharvesting forests, and emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than ecosystems can absorb. The Aug. 1 date means we are using 1.7 Earths. That's like spending 170% of your paycheck.
It is, by definition, not sustainable.
Different parts of the world are endowed with different resources and consume resources at different rates. Some countries use more resources, per person, than others. Some individuals use more than others. The amount of land required to sustain their use of natural resources is their ecological footprint.
So in which countries are people using the most? How quickly are they spending their natural resource paycheck, so to speak?
Every one of the following countries spent their paycheck well before the first day of August. If the world's population lived like these countries, here is when world overshoot day would fall. According to the Global Footprint Network, these are the countries with the biggest ecological footprint.