Earth Day is considered the ‘largest civic-focused day of action’ in the world with over a billion people taking part. It’s all about action, participation and doing something to ensure we do everything possible to protect the world we live in.
Our existence on this planet depends on what changes we can make now, finding workable solutions to preserve what we have left, and trying to drastically improve how we treat our surrounds. Between the devastation of natural resources and extinction of species to our absurd over-use of plastic and out-of-control pollution, time is not on our side. Earth Day isn’t just an annual date on the calendar - it’s a vast global movement focused on involving everyone from school children and scientists to politicians and policy makers; and the people who will really make a difference, us.
The theme of this year’s Earth Day is Protect Our Species. The earth is facing the greatest rate of extinction since the time of the dinosaurs due to mostly manmade factors like climate change (yes, this is a real thing), pollution, deforestation, poaching, loss of habitat and unsustainable agricultural practises. According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the present rate of extinction is between 1,000 – 10,000 times higher than the natural extinction rate.
If everyone made a few lifestyle changes, the difference would be palpable.There are so many simple things we can do to make a difference and we need to start right now! Here are 7 easy changes that will go a long way and if we adopt them now, future generations may have a fighting chance.
Eat less meat… or none at all
Being vegetarian or vegan isn’t just a fad. The recent published studies by experts specialising in climate change impact and sustainability proved a simple fact – humans need to cut their meat consumption dramatically for a sustainable future. A plant-based diet, be it flexitarian, vegetarian or vegan, is the way forward.
This is the easiest change you can make – get reusable grocery / shopping bags and stop with plastic bags already! Keep them in the car, in your bag and anywhere that’s handy.
Buy local and organic
Buy local food and produce. This supports local businesses, saves money and reduces your carbon footprint.
Use less water
Don’t leave the tap on when brushing your teeth, take shorter showers, and don’t use the dishwasher for just two plates.
Reduce car use
Start by leaving the car at home once a week and take public transport or car pool. Walk and cycle more – it’s good exercise too!
Start with a little herb garden, which can be done on the smallest of balconies or window sills. If you have a garden, plant as much as you can. It’s good for the soul to nurture plants and if you can produce a bit of your own food, even better.
It’s all about the Rs
Reduce, Repurpose, Recycle, Reuse, Refuse – we all know what this means so if you haven’t already, start today! No more unnecessary consumption and waste, refuse single-use plastic, turn the lights off when you leave the room, learn how to compost, and recycle as much as you can. It may take a bit of time to get into the scheme of things, but remind yourself why you’re doing it and how incredibly important even the smallest change and action is.