8 Things You Can Do for the Planet This Earth Day & Beyond
Taking place in April each year, Earth Day is a time for people all around the world to think about how their everyday actions impact the environment. As we continue to see the effects of climate change, from extreme weather and wildfires to melting ice caps and rising sea levels, it’s more important now than ever to consider how we can do our bit.
It’s clear that big corporations should take a lot of the blame for many of the problems facing Earth today. However, by making adjustments in our daily lives, we can encourage wider change and work towards a healthier planet.
Here are eight super simple ways that we can all play our part this Earth Day and beyond.
As we highlighted above, big corporations should be taking a lot of the blame for the current state of the planet. In 2017, it was reported that just 100 companies are responsible for 71% of global emissions, and we don’t think they should be rewarded with your hard-earned money. By buying groceries from a nearby health food shop or supporting smaller UK-based companies when shopping online, we can send the right message and encourage change. More support given to smaller eco-conscious businesses will create demand for more ethical manufacturing processes elsewhere.
Did you know that 90% of the energy washing machines use goes towards heating the water? Washing at 30 degrees not only saves energy, but also protects your clothes, as it prevents fading, shrinking and colour transfer. Cooler washes also limit the amount of microplastics that shed from clothing and end up in the water system. To complement your new laundry routine, make sure you opt for eco-friendly detergents rather than their harsh chemical alternatives.
Renew & repair
Research by Oxfam shows that the textile industry produces more greenhouse gas emissions than shipping and aviation combined. It also found that around 11 million garments end up in landfill in the UK each week. This sounds excessive, but isn’t surprising when you think about how easy it is to buy cheap disposable clothing. If you can, invest in quality items and have them altered and repaired when necessary. Of course, if you feel like a change, donating and recycling old clothes will stop them adding to the Earth’s waste problem. Choosing natural fibres over synthetics is best as they’ll decompose naturally.
Rethink your cleaning habits
Lots of household cleaning products are packed full of harmful chemicals that pollute the air and water system. As well as this, many are still tested on animals or contain animal-derived ingredients. Checking the packaging of products before you buy them can help make sure you’re cleaning as ethically as possible. And if you still think eco means weaker cleaning power, think again. We’ve got powerful alternatives that work just as well as their non-eco counterparts, like biodegradable washing up liquid, plant-based cleaning sprays, enzyme-based drain unblockers and so much more.
Cut down on energy
There are so many easy ways to save energy at home. Turning appliances off after use, switching off lights when you leave the room or making sure TVs and computers aren’t left on standby are all obvious suggestions, but what if you took it a step further? Earth Hour encourages everybody to go without non-essential electricity for one hour towards the end of March each year. But rather than waiting for next March to roll around, why not try having your own Earth Hour once a week or even daily? With the evenings getting lighter at this time of year, you could save some serious watts.
Eat more plants
The impacts of meat production have become more and more obvious, with a recent report noting that animal agriculture accounts for at least 87% of all greenhouse gas emissions. The population’s appetite for fish is also causing problems, as you might have seen in Netflix’s new Seaspiracy documentary. While veganism is definitely on the rise, you might still be struggling to say goodbye to animal products for good. Starting this Earth Day, why not challenge yourself to see how many consecutive days you can go without meat? The world of vegan food is so exciting, with lots of healthier options to try. Your body and the planet will thank you for it!
Want to give back to nature but don’t want to get your hands dirty? There are plenty of ways you can get involved with reforestation projects from afar. Switch your search engine to Ecosia and every time you search the internet, profit from advertising will go towards planting new trees around the world. If you’re struggling to stay focused, use the Forest app to plant virtual trees during periods of productivity and build your own digital forest. Each tree grown earns you points, which can be exchanged for real-life trees to be planted somewhere that needs them.
Make a donation
Earth Month isn’t just about the planet, it asks us to think about our fellow humans and animal friends, too. Why not choose a charity close to your heart, whether environmental, humanitarian or in support of wildlife, and make a donation to a worthy cause?