5 Ways You Can Help the Planet on Earth Day
Started as a grassroots movement almost 50 years ago, Earth Day is now a well-known annual event in celebration of our wonderful planet. On April 22nd, people across the globe will be rallying and getting their hands dirty with environmental activities and projects. The aim is to raise public awareness, this year’s focus being the Protect our Species campaign. Many actions may seem like small steps, but every little helps. Here are some ideas of how you can make a difference and help the planet on Earth Day.
Go on a Beach Clean
If you love to travel, no doubt you’ve spent a fair bit of time exploring the many incredible beaches around the world. It’s no news that plastic pollution poses a monumental risk to the world’s oceans. Globally, around 12.7 million tons of plastic waste ends up in our oceans each year. Going on a beach clean is a great way to clean up some of the plastic and other debris that washes up on our shores. The great thing is that these events happen all year round in most coastal areas, so let Earth Day be the start of a bigger commitment.
Plant a Tree
To protect our animal species, we need to protect their habitat — namely, trees and forests. Trees provide us all with the oxygen we need to survive, they help purify the water we drink and are an enormous sink for harmful greenhouse gases. Our forests are under threat from deforestation, forest degradation and poorly planned infrastructure and we’re losing 18.7 million acres annually as a result. It may seem like a small act, but why not plant a tree this Earth Day? Plant a single sapling or gather together with your community and plant a whole bunch. The Earth will be thankful, as will generations to come.
Leave Your Car at Home
If you’ve been meaning to jump on your bike instead of in your car, then Earth Day is the perfect time to start. Cars are one of the leading causes of air pollution, they emit dangerous gases and poison the air we breathe. Getting on your bike or using public transport has never been easier, many cities and towns have dedicated bike lanes and have vastly improved their infrastructure. On top of knowing that you’re doing your bit for the planet, if you take your bike, you’ll get some exercise too. A healthy lifestyle and a healthy world, what’s not to love?
Buy a Reusable Bottle
As of 2017, we reached a million plastic bottles bought around the world every single minute. If this isn’t shocking enough, the vast majority of them are not recyclable. The volume of waste we are producing is unfathomable. If you do nothing else on Earth Day, go and buy yourself a reusable bottle and make it your new best friend. You’ll help save the earth, save money on buying drinks and, if you fill it with water, you’ll probably be healthier too. If you get in the swing of it, buy a reusable coffee cup and some reusable shopping bags too.
Start a Compost Heap
It’s incredible how much food we waste every day and simply shocking if you think of the millions of people starving around the world. We’re talking about almost a third of the world’s food produced for human consumption, 1.3 billion tons each year. The huge inefficiency in the way we consume food has massive economic, social and environmental impacts. It may, yet again, feel like a small step, but starting a compost heap in your back garden is definitely a step in the right direction. All you need to start is a container in your garden, fill it with your raw food waste and then wait for the rich, fertile compost to develop at the bottom. You’ll have green fingers and beautifully healthy plants and flowers before you know it.
Bonus: Get Outdoors!
Mother Nature is gifted us with some incredible treasures. From stunning national parks to your local urban park, spend some time today enjoying the Earth. Remind yourself why we need to take steps to protect this natural splendor. Whether you go for an extended hike or just bike around your neighborhood, there's plenty of ways to experience the great outdoors this weekend.
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