This Saturday 22nd April is Earth Day, a day in which we need to take action to fight climate change and appreciate the beauty of our planet. The official Earth Day Newtork set out to help make 1 billion acts of green when it started out. It has been so successful they’re now trying to hit 3 billion! You can find out your ecological footprint, donate to plant a tree or find out more about climate change here. We’ve come up with ten acts of green that you can do this Earth day as a family.
You can choose to do one thing or a few on the list to help our lovely planet Earth on its special day. Who knows maybe you will feel inspired to make more changes after realising how easy it is and join us in our Eco-Exchange Challenge.
So here goes our ten acts of green suggestions for Earth Day 2017:
For one day this is possible. Need to go to the shop? Jump on your bike or walk. Maybe catch a bus or train, who knows you might find a nice person to chat to on the way!
Meat production has a massive ecological footprint meaning that it has a bigger carbon footprint and uses more water than plant based food. Meat and dairy also use up a vast amount of space compared to plant based food as the further up the food chain you go, the more energy is lost thus more space needed for the equivalent level of nutrition from animals. You might find amazing new recipes and really enjoy what you discover. Perhaps you could have a meat free Monday or plant based Wednesday?
We all know that trees take in CO2 and put out oxygen thus fighting the greenhouse effect. Is there a spot in your garden where you could plant a tree? If this isn’t possible then maybe you could donate to the re-forestation project, more details here.
The average person’s shower uses 62 litres of hot water with baths using an average of 80 litres. Imagine the amount of water and heating that could be saved if everyone skipped their shower for just one day. You can still have a wash with a sink full of water (about 2 litres) I promise you won’t come to any harm as a result!
This could be great fun for the whole family. If you’re short on space you could plant some strawberries into some hanging baskets- plant them now and you’ll have juicy strawberries by the summer. No plastic packaging and no carbon footprint in transportation – even sweeter! Or if like us you fancy yourself a bit of a Monty Don you could set up a whole vegetable patch. So far we’ve planted herbs, potatoes, an olive tree and a blackberry bush. We will be planting more in the coming weeks.
Palm oil is bad news for the environment and it appears in many of our foods and cosmetics. According to the World Wildlife Fund it’s production is responsible for the deforestation of 300 football fields of rainforest EVERY HOUR. You can find out more about the stuff here. If you need to go out and buy anything this Earth day have a look at the ingredients list. Palm oil is in many biscuits, chocolate, breads, cosmetics and confectionary. There are alternatives you can buy you just have to take a little time to find them. Once you know what you like t’s easy next time you shop. Even easier you can look out for the green frog (below). The green frog is the Rainforest Alliance logo and means that a farm, forest, or tourism enterprise has been audited to meet standards that require environmental, social, and economic sustainability without the destruction of rainforests.
For an entire day go plastic free. That means not buying anything which comes in plastic packaging- no pre-packaged food, no plastic bags at the supermarket, no plastic lids on your coffee cup and absolutely no plastic bottles. You can fill reusable bottles with tap water before you leave the house, take a reusable coffee cup to your favourite coffee shop and take your reusable shopping bags out with you just in case. Not only will this help you to realise just how much plastic we’re using, it’ll perhaps help you to choose plastic free alternatives in the future when you see how easy it can be.
Sadly there is litter everywhere, it’s unsightly and it is not good for wildlife. Head out for a walk with your family some gloves and a rubbish bag and pick up some litter. We do this frequently where we live. Below is what we collected after just minutes at the top of Pendle Hill one evening.
We are part of a consumerist society where we don’t think twice about buying things we might not necessarily need. With the advent of Amazon Prime it’s all to easy to click on something you may like in that moment and know it is with you the next day. Stop and think do I really need this? Would my life be more difficult without it? If no then don’t buy it. You’ll save yourself some money, save the petrol from the delivery truck and the tonne of packaging that things come in these days. Not only that but you’ll save on landfill that said product may end up in further down the line when you realised you didn’t need it.
Earth day is incredibly important but not everyone knows about it. Tell your friends and family about the day and why it is important to go green. Think Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, or even (shock horror) speak to people face to face- awareness helps people to think green and therefore be green.
There we have it our ten acts of green. We’ll be doing all ten of these this Earth Day. Which are you tempted to try? Are you doing anything this Earth Day to celebrate planet Earth?