August 19th is Overshoot Day – the date when humanity has exceeded this year’s quota for consumption of natural resources. Starting today, we are borrowing natural resources from future generations. With increased consumption Overshoot Day is brought forward each year, but by buying and selling second-hand you can slow down this progression. In Sweden alone, we save 1.6 million tonnes of carbon emissions each year by buying and selling second-hand.
“We only have one planet but in Sweden we live as if we had three. Overshoot Day clearly shows that it is time to change the way we consume. By shopping second-hand you help prevent that new products are produced, which reduces emissions and conserves nature’s limited resources, says Jan Prokopec”, CEO of Blocket.
When national statistics on the environment are compiled it does not take in account savings from secondary trading. The second-hand market contributes fundamentally to that new products do not need to be produced or processed as waste. Blocket and IVL, the Swedish Environmental Research Institute has made calculations based on this.
Several Famous Profiles Endorses the Initiative
To mark Overshoot Day and raise the issue to a wider audience meteorologist Pär Holmgren, fashion blogger Emma Elwin, interior profiles Isabelle McAllister and Amelia Widell and vintage profile Emma Sundh have engaged in the issue, in cooperation with Blocket. All will pay attention to Overshoot Day in social media and also contribute by selling something on Blocket.
“Five years ago, Overshoot Day occurred on September 25th. This year we have spent the natural resources on August 19th. It’s hard to assume a personal responsibility for earth’s resources, but we can all do something about our own environmental impact. A fun and easy way to take responsibility is to buy and sell second-hand. For example, I’m selling a really nice electric bike on Blocket”, says Pär Holmgren.
As part of the collaboration with Pär Holmgren, Blocket has also produced a weather forecast from the future that shows what will happen if we do not improve our climate.
The Environmental Benefits of Secondhand Trade
Together with IVL, the Swedish Environmental Research Institute, Blocket calculated the amount of emissions potentially avoided when secondhand trade slows new product production, transportation and incineration of waste. When people shop secondhand from one and another, the actual production of new thing is avoided, with less waste ending up in the trash. The positive results have proven to be enormous – the secondhand trade on Blocket potentially saves 1.6 million tons of greenhouse gases annually, the equivalent to all the country’s roads left empty for over a month, or if Stockholm city’s road traffic disappeared for 1.5 years.
Read the full report Second-hand trade climate benefits here.
For more information, please contact Annette Karlberg, PR Manager at Blocket