What is Earth Day?
Earth Day is celebrated each year on 22nd April. It was first held in 1970 to demonstrate global concern regarding the growing impact of industrialisation. The 1962 book ‘Silent Spring’, by Rachel Carson, was one of the first mainstream books published regarding environmental issues. It became a best-selling book and discussed the indiscriminate use of pesticides. Rachel Carson became known as the “mother of environmentalism”. On 22nd April 2020, the world celebrated the golden jubilee of the 1970 movement. This year, as America rejoins the Paris Accord, there is growing and continual effort for more definite climate action in the global community.
Earth Day 2021
The theme for Earth Day 2021 is ‘Restore our Earth’. The global pandemic has demonstrated just how closely tied together we are across the world, causing the virus to spread quickly and easily. We are also faced with growing evidence that air pollution is a real contributor to deaths annually. The demand for more of “life’s comforts” has led us to develop technologies and products that utilise the least human effort and bring convenience in daily life. However, this results in depleting resources, bad health, pollution of biotic and abiotic spheres, biodiversity loss, global warming, climate change, etc. Instead of increasing comfort, we appear to be destabilising the natural balance of Earth. As we become more intertwined across nations and share a common environment, the activities of a single country start to have an impact on us all. So, this Earth day it is imperative for all of us to realise the importance of our planet for ourselves and for future generations.
Ways to ‘Restore our Earth’
Each one of us can play a small part in helping to “restore our Earth” by incorporating sustainable habits into our daily lives.
Here are some habits you can adopt for helping to achieve a more balanced and sustainable way of living:
- Be mindful of your activities:
The first step is to have awareness of where you are going and what you are doing. Think about your activities each day and what impact they have on the environment. Things like driving in your car to work may lead you to think about the types of fuel your car is using and whether it may make sense to switch to hybrid cars and eco-friendly fuels. You may also think about the environmental benefits and cost-savings you can gain from traveling using public transport. However, aside from making more drastic changes, there are other things which you can think about which may mean making smaller changes, such as buying food from local markets or farm shops to reduce the distance from farm to fork. You can also switch to a reusable water bottle to cut down on plastic waste. There are many examples in your daily life where you can think about your impact.
You can also ask yourself questions about how you use resources. For example:
- How can I save water?
You can minimise the consumption of water by using optimised-flow showers rather than bathtubs.
- How can I save my energy consumption?
You can minimise your energy consumption by using renewable energy sources or using less energy. You can replace appliances with efficient and less energy-consuming appliances, or those that work with rechargeable batteries.
- How can I instill the concept of the 3Rs in everyday life?
The concept of the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle) can help significantly in reducing impact on the local environment. Various brands utilise biodegradable and reusable products. Some markets and shops even provide an incentive for returning your used products or containers.
- How can I minimise my carbon footprint?
Some brands give details regarding the footprints of their products. You can also get information on the internet regarding eco-friendly market places and shops around you. There are so many options now to buy products which are being manufactured in a “green” or “sustainable” way and at good prices. You can buy from those sellers and reduce your footprint. If you are looking to buy unique presents, for example, there are some fantastic choices on ecowaremarket.com which incorporate waste sugar or vegan leather!
- Greening Project:
You can also take part in a greening project such as the development of a community garden near you or donate to the NGOs and groups that work for creating sustainability. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit then you can initiate a greening project yourself.
- Participate in the Great Global Cleanup
Get outside in the fresh air and support the Great Global Cleanup, picking up trash and plastic from the streets.
- Share your story or get “influenced”
If you have taken a certain initiative, participated in an eco-friendly project, utilised eco-friendly products, or did something beneficial for the environmental, you can share your story on the internet. If you have certain ideas for driving sustainable actions, you can share them on different platforms. You can also start to read other people’s stories on the small and large things they do to achieve sustainability in their lives. Fostering community support and inspiring others will have positive repercussions for those around you, and for your own wellbeing.
- Try Meatless Mondays
You don’t have to go fully vegan or vegetarian to reverse environmental damage but just substituting out meals with meat on one or two days a week could have a profound effect over time, especially as more and more people choose to do it. Making sure you substitute with meals full of vegetables (try being experimental) is good for you too! You could even challenge yourself to try a weird and wonderful fruit or vegetable each week that you’ve never tried before.
These were some of the basic ideas you can think about and incorporate into your life. If you start by making a small change, these little changes turn into a real difference and will have a lasting impact on yourself and the environment around you. Share your story!