Earth Day is an annual and global event that sees people commit to taking climate action, and this year it falls on April 22nd. As global warming continues to have a disastrous impact on our planet, attempting to make a positive difference can seem like an overwhelming task. Where to start? From tackling plastic pollution and deforestation to improving climate literacy and coral conservation, there are a range of issues to get passionate about. The theme for this year’s event is ‘Restore Our Earth’, reminding us of the vast opportunities for change that lies ahead.
So, this Earth Day, how are you going to put passion into action and take steps to restore our natural environment? Donating to important organisations is a simple way to make a difference, but when donating isn’t an option, there are several other ways you can get involved. Below, explore our guide to meaningful moves you can make this Earth Day and beyond.
Reduce your meat and seafood intake.
Meat consumption contributes greatly to your personal carbon footprint, due to the enormous amount of carbon emissions that come from the livestock industry, while the seafood industry wreaks havoc on our oceans. Change your diet by incorporating more plant-based recipes into your meal prep. Tasty tip: Jackfruit is a delicious substitute for pulled pork, as is cauliflower for chicken!
Walk like an emu. Clear up debris by picking up rubbish while on your daily walk or run, whether by the beach or in the park – this is one of the easiest ways to make a difference every single day. After all, one extra step for you could save plastic pollution from ending up in landfill or in our waterways, harming precious marine life.
Switch to sustainable fashion.
The fashion industry is the second biggest polluter in the world, after the oil industry. Garment production depletes water supplies and pollutes rivers with textile dyes, while the affordability of fast fashion makes clothing disposable, with 85% of textiles discarded each year. Instead of buying new, think about shopping second-hand to prolong an outfit’s lifecycle, by browsing through vintage stores or online at resources such as Facebook Marketplace or Depop. If you need to buy new, choose to support a sustainable brand (apps like Good on You do the hard work for you by rating fashion brands on their commitment to sustainability).
Say no to plastic. As the long-lasting impact of plastic on our environment becomes mainstream news, this step is nothing new! Despite the convenience of plastic bags, straws, takeaway containers and cutlery, these plastic products will hang around on this planet for a lot longer than the short amount of time you use them for – even up to 1000 years in landfill! Instead, always carry a reusable bag, keep cup, and even bring your own containers and cutlery to restaurants when ordering takeaway or packing up leftovers. In the bathroom, switch from body wash to soap, and invest in a reusable razor.
Change your paper bills to online. One of the most efficient ways to take a small step toward protecting our planet is to hop online and switch your paper bills from delivered by snail mail to e-mail. Not only will you be contributing to saving trees from deforestation, you’ll also be eliminating any fuel and carbon emissions used to deliver your bills by truck. You can also donate to conservation effort The Canopy Project to plant trees in areas in need of reforestation.
Start a compost bin. Food waste is a huge issue in Australia, as Aussie households throw away approximately 5 million tonnes of perfectly edible food each year – which is staggering to process when 5 million Australians are left hungry every day. To fight food waste, donating to organisations such as Foodbank is a great start, as is starting a compost bin. When food is thrown away it ends up in landfill, generating massive amount of harmful carbon dioxide emissions. By composting, you can save scraps from contributing to global warming and take climate action from your own backyard. Not sure where to start? Compost Revolution partners with councils across the country to deliver discounted composting gear to your door.
Always read labels. There are so many products out there packed full of toxins and chemicals that are harming both our bodies and the planet. Do your research and check the labels on household products such as laundry detergent, kitchen soap and shower products to avoid washing poisonous liquid down the drain and into our national ocean treasure. As for sunscreen, check for symbols to ensure it is reef safe – made with minerals instead of toxic chemicals – to avoid harming our beautiful coral and marine life when taking a dip in our pristine seas.