Today is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, a global movement that seeks to raise awareness of the impact pollution and environmental damage are having on our planet’s health.
The good news is that, though we find ourselves celebrating this year’s event from the confines of a nationwide lockdown, there are little green steps we can all take during quarantine to contribute to a cleaner future.
Did you know that the average person produces over two kilograms of rubbish a day? Unfortunately, some of that ends up as litter. This is hugely problematic in that much of this waste contains plastic and other substances that do not degrade easily. It’s an ugly blight on our environment that can be a threat to wildlife and children. It also costs a lot to clean up.
But the fight-back starts with us. Next time you go out for your daily quarantine walk, why not take a biodegradable bag and gloves with you? Make it your mission to pick up 10-20 pieces of litter, and then share your good work in community groups. You’ll be surprised by the gratitude – you may even rouse others into action!
Buying local has huge benefits for the environment. It drastically reduces supply chain emissions, supports the local workforce and puts money back into the community – money that can be used to make your environment a better, cleaner place.
The current situation presents a challenge to local businesses, of course. But many are responding to it with e-commerce websites, voucher schemes and home deliveries. Check online to see how companies in your area have adapted.
Our friends at Green is the New Black also have a great online marketplace where you can look for great discounts and deals from businesses in your community.
Oil and coal are incompatible with a healthy Earth. Both are used in huge quantities to heat and light our homes, but their time in the sun is drawing to a close.
With the likes of Bulb and Ecotricity now providing 100% renewable energy through app-based accounts that help people keep a lid on their bills, green energy is no longer the expensive alternative. And with smart meters also dropping in price, the future looks bright for clean energy providers.
Take some time out from your lockdown activities to find the best deals online.
With more time on our hands, now is a great opportunity to be more resourceful with all of those old clothes, CDs and myriad other materials you no longer have a need for. Your mission: waste nothing.
That used tin can would make a pretty pot for pens or flowers. That old chest of draws could be sanded and repainted. Your tatty old jeans are demanding to be turned into shorts!
Lockdown is a chance for us to get creative and turn trash into treasure. Whether its selling books, saving old shirts for charity or creating something new out of your rubbish, it all stops us from producing more waste and clogging the planet.
If you’re lucky enough to have access to a garden during lockdown then it’s time to get planting! Growing your own food reduces plastic use, eliminates food miles and lessens land use.
Not everybody is fortunate enough to have a big green space, but windowsills and balconies also offer enough room to grow herbs and small vegetables. Here you can use upcycling to create small gardens out of old glass jars or shampoo bottles to reduce your impact on the environment. Plus, your home will smell like a little slice of paradise. It’s a win-win.
These are five practical ways you can turn lockdown into your own little green revolution. But the battle does not step there. This Earth Day it’s more important than ever to recognise the impact our actions are having on the planet. By taking these little green steps, together we can make all the difference.
Want to explore the future of sustainability in all its depths?
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, sustainability platform Green is the new Black – whose mission is to create a greener future where we all live more consciously – is holding a 24-hour Earth Day event on Facebook today. Check it out for a host of enlightening virtual workshops and talks from speakers such as Barney Swan, founder of ClimateForce and the first man to walk to both the North and South Poles on renewable energy alone.