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Earth Overshoot Day at Hamilton's Agora Centre

Earth Overshoot Day

Time is nearly up for the amount of resources that humanity can sustainably consume in one year. The 2nd August 2017is Earth Overshoot Day, and it comes earlier every year. This means that in just seven months humanity has bumped up against the limit of resources it can consume. We are now borrowing from future generations with little chance of ever paying them back.

To mark this sobering event a group of concerned citizens in Hamilton is hosting an event called ‘Eating too may Planets’ on Sunday 30th July at Agora Centre. Beginning at 3.30pm, the event is designed to enable people to join in a conversation about how food and agriculture contribute to overconsumption of the planet. There will be an opportunity to discuss what we can do collectively to make a difference.

Two short documentaries called ‘Meathooked’ and ‘The End of Water’ will be screened. This will be followed by a presentation by Sam Taylor, Green Party Candidate for Hamilton East on the state of the environment in NZ. Finally, there will be a discussion about what we can do collectively to address the issues raised.

In addition to this event we also want to raise awareness about how the food choices we make every day directly impact the sustainability of Earth’s resources. It is critical that the Government is aware of the kind of policies and actions that can be taken to address this issue. To this end we are sending an open letter (attached) to all MPs , as well as to the Minister of Primary Industries and Environment. This letter has been endorsed by 6 national and local organizations.

Where: Café Agora and Event Centre 13 Kent St Hamilton
When: 30 July 2017 3.30pm
Who: We are a collective of citizens

Humans are massive consumers. We use far more natural resources than the earth can sustain.

Earth Overshoot Day is the date on which humanity’s resource consumption for the year exceeds Earth’s capacity to regenerate those resources that year. This year, by 2nd August, we will have used all the resources the planet can sustain.

Each year the Overshoot Day comes earlier, demonstrating our ever-increasing demand. The impact we are creating for future generations is growing alarmingly.

However, there are ways to limit our impact on the environment

In New Zealand, we can feel removed from environmental issues, as our population is much smaller in comparison to other westernised countries and we are often viewed as a ‘clean, green’ country. However, we are just as accountable.

Our animal agriculture industry is responsible for 45% of all our greenhouse gas emissions and the high level of pollution in our freshwater environments is a direct result of higher nitrogen levels in the soil, also caused by animal agriculture.

Thankfully, there are much more sustainable ways to live. Ways that significantly reduce this environmental damage.

One of the solutions is a plant-based diet. The plant-based diet has a greenhouse gas footprint of only one third of the typical New Zealand diet which includes meat and dairy. What’s more, production of plant-based protein is also far more sustainable, using around 6 times less water required than meat protein. This shows that eating no animal products and following a vegan diet has a much smaller environmental impact and is in fact easier to sustain in terms of the resources required for this lifestyle.

As a country we need to actively incorporate and encourage plant-based diets into society. Public places, such as schools and hospitals, should offer more vegan options , thus improving both sustainability and the health of our people. Education about sustainable living needs to be widely accessible for children and adults alike. We believe environmental studies and health impacts of our choices, such as food, should be incorporated into the school curriculum.

If we make these changes as a country now, we have the power to preserve our environment for ourselves and, more importantly, for future generations to come.


Vegan Society of Aotearoa New Zealand
NZ Vegetarian Society
Christchurch Animal Rights Action (CARA)
Invercargill Vegan Society (INVSOC)
Dunedin Otepotipotiki Vegan Society (DOVeSe)
Waikato University Vegan Group


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