Earth Day is an annual event on April 22nd that raises awareness around environmental issues and aims to mobilise both individuals and businesses to take action for the climate, and help create global, national and local policy changes. It is celebrated by millions of people around the world, and is considered the world's largest environmental movement.
Earth Day began in 1970, and stemmed from concerns about air pollution caused by large and inefficient automobiles. Since then, the campaign has focused largely on climate change and the fight for a clean environment. The Earth Day 2023 themeis “Invest In Our Planet”, which focuses on the importance of dedicating our time, resources, and energy to solving climate change and other environmental issues.
Want to get involved? To help you celebrate and do something good for the planet, we’ve compiled a list of what you can do to celebrate Earth Day 2023.
1. Join an Earth Day Event
Earth Day has an interactive mapwhere you can find community events happening near you. From “pollution picking” to reading groups, there’s something for everyone.
Alternatively, you can register your own Earth Day events for others to join. Why not host a rally, community clean-up or educational workshop to help inspire others in your area?
2. Community Clean-Up
Litter and plastic pollution is a huge problem for our planet, with more than 171 trillion pieces of plastic now estimated to be floating in the world's oceans.
For Earth Day 2023, why not take part in or host your own community clean-up? You can invite members of your local community to get involved and help prevent additional waste from polluting the environment.
Once you know how you can safely collect and dispose of the waste in your area, you will need grabbers, rubbish bags, gloves and hand sanitizer to get started. Make sure to encourage your group to keep the environment untouched, and to avoid touching syringes, needles, and other hazardous items.
3. Pledge to Reduce Energy Use
Reducing your energy use is a simple yet effective way to reduce your carbon footprint. From turning off lights and appliances when you leave a room to fixing that leaky tap, commit to taking actions that will reduce the impact of your energy use. This might include,
Support local populations of butterflies, bees and hummingbirds by planting a pollinator garden this year. This is a garden which contains a variety of local flowers and trees that provide nectar and pollen, allowing pollinators to thrive and protecting biodiversityas a result.
How to Create a Pollinator Garden
To create a pollinator garden,
Choose a sheltered sunny spot.
Pick native plants in a range of shapes and colours to attract different types of pollinator.
Fill a shallow dish with water to be a source of water for pollinators. You can add a small pebble or stone to give insects a spot to perch.
Water and weed on a regular basis, and avoid using pesticides.
Before you know it, you'll have your own "nectar cafe" with regular visits from butterflies, bees and other pollinators! For additional impact, you could also add a bee hotelwhere certain types of bees can nest.
5. Plant a Tree
Trees are essential for the environment and human life to thrive. They absorb and store carbon dioxide, reduce harmful greenhouse gases, stabilise our soil, support pollinators, provide fruit and medicinal remedies, help the economy and cool overheated places — and this list is not exhaustive!
Plant a tree this Earth Day, or speak to your local officials about planting more trees and native garden beds in public spaces.
6. Embrace a Plant-Based Diet
In line with last year's Earth Day theme (Go Vegan for the Earth Day!), consider switching to a plant-based diet.
Vegan diets have been linked to a range of health and environmental benefits, and they are more accessible than ever with plant-based options now easily available in supermarkets and restaurants.
According to a University of Oxford study, if everybody cut meat and dairy from their diet, there could be a huge 49% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from food production.
With 20% of global wastewater and 10% of global emissions caused by the textile industry, and this number predicted to grow by 50% by 2030, it's time to break up with fast fashion. Upcycle, donate or sell clothes that you no longer wear, and shop second-hand (or sustainable) when you need new pieces.
Go on a tour of vintage and charity shops in your area this Earth Day, or purchase from online marketplaces like eBay and Vinted before you buy new.
8. Contact Your Local Officials
Individual actions are important, but systemic change is necessary to fix the environmental issues that our planet faces. You can advocate for policy change by contacting your elected officials, registering to vote, or joining a grassroots organisation that focuses on environmental campaigns.
And there you have it — eight activities that you can do for Earth Day 2023 (and beyond)! These are just a few ideas to get you started, but we hope you're inspired to celebrate Earth Day with us.
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