5 Ways You Can Celebrate Earth Day
What are some ways we can celebrate Earth Day this year? You might never have noticed this date in your calendar before, or you might be a full-blown eco-warrior already. No matter where you are in your journey, Earth Day is the perfect reminder to think more about how and why we consume as we do. Here are some fun ideas and challenges to tackle this 22 April.
Photo: Esther Tuttle
If we continue on our current path, we will face the collapse of everything that gives us our security: food production, access to fresh water, habitable ambient temperature, and ocean food chains, [ ] and if the natural world can no longer support the most basic of our needs, then much of the rest of civilization will quickly break down.*
This serious warning was issued to world leaders in February 2021 by renowned British naturalist and broadcaster, Sir David Attenborough.
People today all over the world now realise this is no longer an issue which will affect future generations [ ]. It is people alive today, and, in particular, young people, who will live with the consequences of our actions.
Photo: Kelli McClintock
Weve known for some time that the Earth and all its inhabitants are suffering, and while the situation can sometimes seem overwhelming, theres still things we can do as individuals to contribute to the solution.
Dating back to 1970, both Earth Month and Earth Day have become opportunities to focus our energies on our environment and the things we can do to make it better.
This year on 22 April, Earth Day will engage over 1 billion participants around the world to take action that aims to restore the Earth.
Photo: Markus Spiske
While spending most of our time at home because of the current Covid crisis, we can still make a positive impact by shifting our priorities and behaviours in simple and enjoyable ways.
1. Go plastic free and reduce your waste in the kitchen:
Plastic is a huge contributor to the worlds waste problem, especially when it comes to our oceans. We know its not biodegradable so you can proactively buy groceries with that in mind, avoiding unnecessary packaging. You can also research locally made food wraps and stock up on glass containers so that theres no need for plastic wrap or aluminium foil in the kitchen. Pack lunches in beeswax food wraps and ask your favorite local restaurant if they would use your home-brought containers for takeaway meals instead of disposable plastic containers. Its always more effective to buy products with less (or no) packaging rather than rely on recycling the plastic afterwards. Within this waste solution is also food composting: Organic matter rotting in landfill releases methane, a major greenhouse gas emission that is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. If composting levels worldwide increased, we could reduce emissions by 2.1 billion tonnes by 2050.**
2. Use environmentally-friendly, non-toxic cleaning products:
There are so many products on the market now that wont harm the earth. Every major supermarket should have this selection in stock. Think about how you wash your clothes, dishes, floors, toilet and benches. You could also look into chemical-free toothpaste and shampoos, which are also better for your body in the long run. Alternatively, theres lots of easy recipes for homemade cleaning products - google it and see what you could do!
3. Walk, ride your bike or use public transport:
The transportation sector generates the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions because we burn fossil fuel by using cars, trucks, ships, trains and planes. Other ways to reduce the impact is to carpool in your neighbourhood or look into buying an electric or hybrid car. You can reduce your carbon footprint significantly if you dont drive - Earth Day may be the perfect opportunity to dust off your bike again and venture out on the road!
4. Recycle paper, plastic and glass:
Check in with your local council to find out their recycling system and you could reduce your waste and your carbon footprint. You should now also be able to hand in your soft plastics at the supermarket, and if you dont have that option then perhaps its time to encourage your local supermarket to offer it!
5. Buy local for 30 days:
Use our 30-day Challenge in our back pages and get ready to buy local for the month of May! Get your local business radar on and do some research into who can supply you with your household needs. Think about supporting farmers markets, food co-operatives and independent food/retail outlets. You may also look into national distributors of dry goods and buy in bulk from them. There are many buy local pages online that serve as a great local directory of businesses in your area.
If some or all of these actions are new to you, it may seem like a big challenge to change your current behaviour. But you CAN do it!
Changing a habit is said to take about a month. Make use of the monthly habit trackers available in our back pages to track your progress. You could also create a custom Mixbook where you include the pages Monthly Goal and 30-day Challenge, as well as other habit trackers to change one specific behaviour or create one new habit at a time.
Photo: James Wheeler
Involve the whole family to share the load or take a friend along with you. Work with a buddy to compare notes and encourage each other along the way. Your local community is a fantastic place to discuss these common issues and find out more. You may find that your local council or climate change group has good resources.
When it comes to each individual, every day can be Earth Day. It can seem like a heavy burden but if you realise we are all in it together, we can act now and help to restore the Earth.
If you would like more information on how to make every day Earth Day, read up on over 50 tips here, on the official website for Earth Day.
*UN News, 23 February 2021
** BBC.com February 2020
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