5 Different Ways You Can Go Green for Earth Day 2021

19th Apr 2021

On the 22nd April, the world will be celebrating Earth Day, an international commemoration of our shared commitment to protecting life on earth. Since the first Earth Day in 1970, this event has had a long and impressive history, but it’s arguable that in 2021, in the wake of the pandemic, Earth Day is more relevant now than ever before. If you’re feeling inspired, here’s how you can make a difference this spring.

Earth Day was originally set up to honour five long term focus areas, including climate action, science and education, people and communities, conservation and restoration, and plastics and pollution. In the spirit of these ongoing focus areas, why not do something to target each area? Whether you’re an individual, a family, a small business owner or a member of a bigger organisation, there’s almost certainly something you can do – not just on April 22nd, but every day.

Cut your plastic use by reducing, reusing and recycling

There’s no way to deny the enormous problem that plastics pose for our planet. But as consumers we have the choice to go for more eco-friendly alternatives:

  • Buy as much as you can in glass, tin or paper, which can all be recycled.
  • Reduce single use plastics and, if something can’t be recycled, find a creative way to repurpose it.
  • If you own a business, consider investing in a plastic baler to allow you to compact and store packaging material more efficiently.
  • Work with suppliers or buy from businesses that use less plastic packaging.

Tackle climate change by reducing your carbon dioxide emissions

International bodies like the UN and the WWE have declared a climate emergency, and their appeal is clear: we need to reduce our use of fossil fuels and drastically cut our greenhouse gas emissions. Though this might seem like a daunting goal, small changes add up quickly:

  • Consider switching to a green energy provider.
  • Use less energy at home by switching to energy-efficient appliances.
  • Eat less meat – this also saves water!
  • If you’re the owner of a SME, investigate energy-efficient upgrades for your business, and renewable electricity like solar panels.
  • Switch to electric vehicles or cut your commute by carpooling, taking public transport or working from home.

Knowledge is power – so educate yourself

One thing you can do to observe Earth Day is to sign up for any of their events, many of which include being a part of essential research projects that will drive future policy and interventions. The Global Earth Challenge, for example, allows you to help out by gathering useful environmental data in the area you live, for example on bee populations or air quality. Other things you can do:

  • Learn more about the science of climate change and biodiversity – there are so many excellent resources and organisations out there to support and learn from.
  • Why not sign up for a wild foraging course, investigate composting or learn how to grow your own food at home?
  • If you have children, take the opportunity to learn a little more about the environment. There are excellent programs aimed at inspiring a love of nature in children.

Connect with your community to make a difference

Earth Day has always been about grassroots movements and local communities getting together to do some good. Some ideas:

  • Why not organise a litter collection event for your local community, or see what events are already planned for this April? The Great Global Cleanup has plenty of information online – you could even set up a challenge for your employees or colleagues.
  • Take a (socially distanced) nature walk.
  • Get involved in your area’s community garden or allotments, or plant a few things in your own garden.
  • Invite friends over to watch an environmental documentary.

Contributing to conservation and restoration

Finally, conservation isn’t just about what the big environmental organisations can do. You can contribute, too:

  • Find charity groups, conservation projects and research teams that you like the sound of, and volunteer either your time or money to the cause.
  • Switch to organic or non-chemical pesticides in your garden, and plant bee-attracting flowers.
  • Plant a tree!
  • If you can’t plant a tree, donate to The Canopy Project, or use ecosia, the search engine that plants trees for you – they’ve done more than 120 million so far.

The theme of this year’s Earth Day is “restore our Earth.” This April, think of actions you can take to contribute to the restoration of the planet, whether that’s committing to more sustainable business, cutting your consumption or inspiring others to connect to nature. With spring in the air, it’s the perfect time to make conscientious choices that benefit us all.

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