Earth Day is just around the corner and there are so many ways you can be involved.
Earth Day started in the USA in 1970, with the goal of mobilising action to prevent the degradation of our environment. Prior to this date, environmental protections were limited and the results were slowly becoming clear and public opinion was beginning to turn.
Earth Day was announced by Senator Gaylord Nelson who wanted to bring the issue of environmental protection to the national agenda. The concept spread like wildfire, with rallies, forums, performances, speeches and educational events transforming public perception about how to preserve the environment. From one day to the next, a quarter of the US public declared protecting the environment should be a national priority, up 2,500% on the year before.
Twenty free years later, Earth Day has become the largest environmental movement in the world, with over 1 billion people taking part. As our planet continues to struggle against the effects of human activity, plastic pollution, carbon emissions, deforestation and loss of biodiversity, we need to take ever more extreme action to keep our planet clean and healthy.
Here are six easy ways you can be involved in protecting our planet this Earth Day.
1. Make your home more sustainable
Unfortunately, plastic pollution is only getting worse. 12 million tonnes of plastic is dumped in the ocean every year and one in three fish caught now contain plastic. One of the best ways to help this problem is by removing it from your life and home wherever possible. The good news is, this is easier than ever!
With sustainable products becoming more mainstream and public awareness shifting, there's never been a better time to tackle this issue.
Start by conducting a plastic audit of your home and paying attention to where you find yourself purchasing single-use plastic. Whether it's food wrappers, beauty products or on-the-go, once you know where the plastic waste is coming from, you can begin to find ways to eradicate it. We've shared our tips on how to remove plastic from your kitchen and how to start your zero waste journey, plus we offer a wide range of beautiful reusable products, like our safety razors to help make this transition easier!
Make it your mission this Earth Day, to make one sustainable swap! Not only will you be one step closer to living a sustainable life, but you'll feel good for doing your part for the planet.
2. Educate and engage children and family members
This Earth Day, why not spend some time talking about the environment with children or family members? After all, a problem shared is a problem halved! By including more people in the conversation about individual responsibility and inspiring future generations, we can ensure the environmental movement only continues to grow.
It can be as simple as finding out what they think about a topic, offering a new perspective, or sharing some strategies that have worked for you to reduce plastic in your own life. For children, reading stories, doing a nature walk, or activity such as pressing flowers or identifying trees is a great way to encourage a love of nature.
3. Read a book or watch a documentary
Knowledge is power and learning is fun! Earth Day is a great opportunity to empower yourself with new information about our planet and finding inspiration to continue your sustainability journey.
Whether you dive into an Attenborough documentary, explore an alternative opinion in Forks Over Knives, or explore vegan cooking from BOSH TV, you'll learn something new and have more to share with others! There are so many books that also inspire, excite and inform about the environmental crisis and actions you can take to help. Some of our favourites are:
- Wilding by Isabella Tree
- This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein
- How Bad Are Bananas by Mike Berners Lee
4. Support pollinators
Pollinators such as bees, butterflies, beetles and moths are vital for our ecosystem and for keeping food on our table! Pollinators are facing adversity due to loss of habitats, pesticide use, disease and climate change. By creating healthy, habitats for pollinators in your home, garden, driveways or even workplaces, we can support them to thrive and flourish - in turn keeping our plants, flowers and trees reproducing year on year. What's good for pollinators is good for us!
There are so many fun and creative ways to do this, regardless of whether you have access to outside space or not. This Earth Day why not try planting some native plants or flower species in your garden or windowsill, create a nesting habitat for bees or build a bee motel, provide water for pollinators by leaving out a shallow dish filled with stones or marbles, avoid using pesticides and avoid moving your lawn too regularly to allow more traditional weeds to flower and support bees.
5. Organise a local clean up event
Have you considered organising a clean-up event for your local neighbourhood? Whether you live near a park, beach, school, or city, organising a clean up is a fantastic way to prevent plastic pollution from contaminating the natural environment and bring the community together. You can register your clean up with a community or charitable organisation like Surfers Against Sewage, who can help you every step of the way, plus your results will go towards helping change how the government responds to plastic pollution.
Even if you grab a bin bag and gloves and spend 30 minutes cleaning up your local area on your own, you'll be surprised how great you'll feel afterwards and how much your neighbours will appreciate your efforts - raising even more awareness! Will you help clean up the planet?
6. Sign petitions or donate to charity
If you're short on time, but still want to take part in Earth Day one of the best ways is to vote for a cleaner future through petitions! Support charities and organisations whose work you admire by adding your name or donating what you can. Earth Day has plenty of (US-centric) petitions and events, so do check out their website for ideas. Some other fantastic organisations we love include:
So there you have it!
Six easy ways you can be involved in Earth Day. It's a perfect opportunity to kickstart removing plastic from your home or local area, educating and inspiring future generations, creating space for nature in your home and offering support to charities that are doing amazing things for our planet.
Which one of these will you try?