This Earth Day on April 22nd, organisations, businesses and individuals around the world will once again mobilise to address the most pressing environmental issues facing our planet, from deforestation and climate change to plastic pollution.
In this blog post we’ll take you through a little bit of background about Earth Day and then give you some actionable tips on how you can get involved.
So let’s learn something…then do something!
How did Earth Day start?
Earth Day itself began when Gaylord Nelson, a senator from Wisconsin, USA, witnessed a massive oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara in 1969, and was mobilised into action. He announced the first Earth Day on April 22nd 1970 as a national event to raise public consciousness of environmental concerns.
Now the world’s largest environmental movement and most widely observed secular event, Earth Day is marked by over a billion people as a day of action to change our behaviour and create policy changes on a global, national and local level.
What’s the theme for this year’s Earth Day?
The theme for Earth Day 2022 is Invest In Our Planet.
The thinking behind this theme is that we need to stop incentivising technology that’s damaging our future growth and instead focus on planet-first technologies. Governments, corporations and individuals need to follow more sustainable practices, buy from greener companies, and take an active role in promoting and protecting Earth’s wellbeing.
10 ways you can get involved in Earth Day
From organised group events to simple lifestyle changes, there are plenty of ways you can get involved in Earth Day (and beyond!).
1. Get planting
What better time to get planting for the planet than Earth Day? Reforestation organisations such as Ecologi and Trees for Life are tailor made for helping individuals and businesses combat the climate crisis through the planting and protecting of carbon-capturing trees. And the best bit? They do all the planting and ongoing forest management for you!
It only takes a few minutes to sign up to a monthly Ecologi subscription and you can immediately begin to make a positive difference to ecosystems around the world.
So far, Krystal has planted over 1.3 million trees and funded climate-saving projects around the world through our partnerships with Ecologi and Trees for Life. From as little as £1.25 a week, you can join us in the fight and start growing your own forest!
2. Go plogging!
Plogging (picking up rubbish while jogging) is the perfect way to get some exercise while cleaning up your local community. Get some health-conscious friends together, arm yourself with pickers, gloves and bags, and do your bit while keeping yourself fit! There are plenty of litter picks and cleanup operations going on around the country for you to get involved with. Search for a group or register your efforts to the Great Global Cleanup here.
We recently rolled our sleeves up and went out and about cleaning up our local areas. Trust us - it’s a rewarding feeling to know you’re playing your part to help keep our planet healthy and clean.
3. Volunteer with EarthDay.org
Head to the Earth Day Volunteering website and get directly involved with the movement! Sign up to get useful Earth Day resources, activities you can do at home or online, and ways to spread the word to your friends.
Visit the Earth Day donation page and discover how you can donate to support the various causes. Your donation will go towards important projects including the protection of endangered species and essential reforestation initiatives across the globe!
5. Focus on your footprint
Calculate your personal carbon footprint and make it your mission to reduce it this Earth Day. Simple changes can make a big difference to your personal footprint. For example, you could ride your bike or walk instead of driving, or carpool with friends, colleagues and neighbours.
6. Change to a renewable energy tariff
If you’re not with a green energy supplier already, switching your own energy usage to a 100% green supplier is a fantastic way to make a difference to your personal environmental impact.
At Krystal we use Ecotricity, Britain’s greenest energy company and founders of the Global Green Energy Movement. If you’re interested in signing up, we have a referral scheme with Ecotricity where 100% of every referral payment we receive from your sign up goes directly into funding new trees. For more info check our Green Hosting page!
7. Be energy smart
19 million UK homes have poor levels of energy efficiency according to the World Wildlife Fund . Addressing the energy efficiency of your home is a great way to reduce your energy usage. Here are some examples of how you can drive up your home's efficiency:
- Install modern LED lighting in place of incandescent bulbs or old fluorescent low-energy bulbs
- Do some draught proofing
- Loft and cavity wall insulation
- Install smart thermostats in each room to prevent unnecessary heating
- Solar panels - The price of these has plummeted in recent years
- Consider combining solar with an air-source heat pump - Government grants are available
Lighting can account for up to 15% of your household electricity bill, so another simple (but sometimes easy to forget!) improvement is to always turn off any lights when they’re not needed.
“Did you know? If we switched every light in the UK to low-energy LED lights, we could cut our power needs by the equivalent of more than two nuclear power stations!”
8. Reduce, reuse, recycle
Consider the maxim 'less but better', when it comes to your spending habits. Being a more conscious consumer by buying fewer, better quality items will help reduce your consumption and create less waste. You could also consider buying 'preloved' items where possible. Little-used items can be bought for a fraction of the cost of brand new and will drive down your carbon footprint. It also works the other way - swapping, donating or selling your no-longer-used belongings online will support your local community as well as save waste from going to landfill.
Be sure to only wash your clothes when necessary (for example, jeans can be worn many times before needing a wash) and choose a cooler wash cycle. Your clothes will last longer and you'll be doing your bit for the planet.
Say no to disposable products and seek out reusable or recyclable ones instead. Bottles and straws are an obvious example, with metal being a much more sustainable solution than plastic.
Waste processing, whether its sending to landfill or incineration — is very energy-intensive, not to mention polluting to the Earth. Before you throw anything away, check if it can’t be recycled. Around a third of kitchen and garden waste can now be composted. Local authorities are collecting more and more compostable waste which they then process to produce renewable energy.
9. Eat for the Earth
Food production has caused 75% of deforestation and at least 24% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Meat and dairy are also linked with higher carbon emissions than plant-based food. Now, we’re not saying you have to go full veggie, but small changes can make a big difference. The way we eat needs to change in a way that works with nature, not against it.
Here are some simple changes you can make:
- Make a list before shopping and avoid overbuying perishable items
- Eat less meat, fish, eggs, & dairy
- Avoid overly harvested fish
- Choose seasonal, locally-grown foods
- Try batch cooking at weekends to use up perishables before they go out of date
- Get creative with your leftovers!
- Try composting
10. Spread the word
If you decide to donate to worthy causes, participate in Earth Day activities or make lifestyle changes, don’t forget to spread the word on social media and encourage your friends and family to do the same.
Promoting climate awareness in your community could be as simple as putting up an Earth Day sign in your front window, or organising a local event to help raise awareness and donations. If you want to take things further you could also urge your government to make climate literacy a core feature of the school curriculum.
So there you have it, just a few ideas for how you can make changes or get involved to help our planet this Earth Day and beyond. If you have any thoughts or questions, just drop a comment below!
“Every one of us needs a healthy Earth to support our jobs, livelihoods, health & survival, and happiness. A healthy planet is not an option — it is a necessity.” - EarthDay.org