The ecological deficit of the United States needs to shrink. Our planet depends on it.

Earth Overshoot Day measures the health of our planet against our carbon footprint, but each country and region has its own national deficit or reserve. As of 2024, the United States has a national biocapacity deficit of 110%. This means the United States’ ecological footprint is over twice its national biocapacity.

The Global Footprint Network has tracked and analyzed US trends by year, looking specifically at land buildup, carbon output, cropland, fishing grounds, forest production, and grazing land.  The data per capita shows that the United States has steadily increased land development and decreased forest products, croplands, fishing grounds, and grazing land since the 1970s.  Carbon outputs peaked in the late 1970s and have been moving in a downward trajectory since 2010.

One Planet Life has synthesized this data to provide an insight that visually represents the United States’ current situation.  The red line on the graph represents the United States’ ecological footprint per capita.  The green line denotes the biocapacity of the United States, and the shaded gray area represents our current national deficit.

The insight highlights two important points. The ecofootprint of the United States (and corresponding deficit) had been trending downward from 2004 to 2019 but has begun rising again since 2020.  Perhaps more concerningly, Our national biocapacity per capita continues to dwindle due to the progressive loss of biologically productive land and water.

Seeking a Solution Together

As one of the leading nations in the world, the United States has the responsibility to promote global climate change efforts. Collectively, we must commit to finding innovative solutions to decrease our current deficit. This requires all of us—governments, businesses, and individuals—to implement legislation, supply chains, and personal habits that champion sustainability over convenience or industry. By decreasing our national ecological footprint, the United States can encourage other countries to take action for our collective future.  

The #MoveTheDate movement and the Power of Possibility platform are two examples of a vast network of resources dedicated to reversing our climate crisis.  One Planet Life has also curated a list of businesses and organizations that we believe are committed to a greener future.

Commit to living sustainably with the One Planet Life app!  Our app can help you create sustainable habits by identifying and measuring small, incremental changes.  First, select one of six journeys as your primary focus.  Then, choose Joyful Changes that best fit your lifestyle, and start tracking your progress today.  Each journey starts with a small step.  Let’s make a difference for our planet together!

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One Planet Life Insights draw from a vast array of data gathered from the most reputable sources in the world.  We curate and compile this rich information into interactive, easy-to-navigate insight maps to help you better understand your community and the world around us.