Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Every year, Earth Day (this year, on the 22nd of April) is celebrated worldwide. 193 countries take collective action to demonstrate their support for the environment. Ideally, we would take steps to improve the state of the environment every day. However, a special day of dedication is a wonderful reminder to not only nurture and restore our environment but also to make incremental lifestyle changes to minimise our ecological footprints. With pollution, global warming, overpopulation, natural resource depletion and waste disposal being the top five major environmental issues, we all must take responsibility and urgent action now.
Respecting the Earth as an extension of ourselves reminds us of our interconnection and unity with nature. By focussing on the Earth’s restoration, we have the power to preserve it for future generations while reaping the benefits of its ability to restore us to a natural state of peace and wholeness.
Blisspot’s top 8 tips to mindfully nurture our Earth this Earth Day are:
There are many events held on Earth Day worldwide with people and companies coming together to support the environment. Companies donate items such as rubbish bags and gloves to help others pick up neighbourhood litter, or trees to be planted in local schools and parks. Get online or search newspapers to find out your community’s plans for Earth Day. You may even find marches or petitions that can make a difference in raising awareness about caring for our beautiful Earth.
2. Go Herbal
Earth Day can be celebrated at night too. Invite your friends over for an eco-friendly (i.e. vegetarian, vegan, or sustainably sourced meat) meal that has minimal impact on the environment. Rearing animals for consumption is resource-intensive and requires large amounts of land, energy, food and water. In fact, 51% of greenhouse gas emissions are caused by animal agriculture.
To make avoiding meat that much easier, PETA has put together a range of vegan meals here, or, find some delicious vegetarian meals from Jamie Oliver here.
3. Raise Awareness
While you have your friends gathered together, why not settle down to watch an environmental documentary or talk? Top Documentary Films have put together a great (mostly free) collection, here and TED showcases some informative environmental talks here. Also tap into a wealth of knowledge on social media by searching: #EarthDay #EarthDay2017 #Earth #EarthDayEveryday #Ecology #Green #GoGreen #GreatOutdoors #GoOutside #Nature #Recycle #ParisAgreement #NatureLovers #ClimateChange.
4. Clean Up
Want to recycle some of your unwanted items? Planet Ark’s RecyclingNearYou is an incredible system where all you have to do is enter your state, suburb, council district or postcode and the type of item you want to recycle (from electronics to books) and voilà— it shows your closest location to deposit.
Donate if you can, as it helps others in need. Otherwise, sell or exchange your items online or at a pawn shop. There are some great apps to sell clothing on such as Carousel. With these easy tips, you’ve no longer an excuse to put the cleanup off any longer!
5. Find Transport Alternatives
For most, cars are our main form of transport, and we can’t imagine life without them. The freedom of temperature control and choosing our favourite radio station makes the trip that much more enjoyable, but at what cost?
Toxic emissions from motor vehicles contribute to climate change and pollute the air, contributing to problems such as photochemical smog and adverse effects to our health. Rather than ‘fuelling’ the problem, catching public transport, bike-riding or walking are great alternatives. Otherwise, carpooling and trying to run all errands in the one trip can make a positive difference to the environment.
Download the Commute Greener app to track all your transportation methods, calculate your greenhouse gas emissions and set reduction targets.
6. Give to a Cause.
Some worthy environmental charities include Greenpeace, Greenfleet and World Vision. If you’re planning your gifts early (Mothers Day, Fathers Day and Christmas lie ahead… hint), the following companies are ethical and environmentally friendly:
7. Invest in One Bag and Bottle
You don’t need an abundance of plastic bags and bottles. Earth Day is the perfect occasion to purchase a reusable, cloth bag and a long-term drink bottle.
An estimated 300 million plastic bags end up in the Atlantic Ocean in one year alone, threatening marine life. Plastic bags on land take hundreds of years to break down, and plastic bottles take more than a lifetime to decompose. Even then, only certain types of plastic bottles can be recycled- many lie stagnant in landfills, leaching chemicals into the ground.
If you need a plastic bottle or bag, be sure to get them from a company that gives a percentage to charity, such as the Cotton On Foundation or Thank You. If drinking tap water is of concern, a water filter ensures you’re getting chemical-free water without further harming the environment.
8. Save Power and Water
Limit the energy you use with energy-saving fluorescent or LED light bulbs that require far less energy than incandescent light bulbs, switch off lights when you leave the room and cut down on your use of appliances altogether them by finding more environmentally friendly methods. For example, wash your plates by hand instead of using the dishwasher or dry your laundry on the clothesline instead of in the dryer. This also helps to save water.
Other methods to save water include showering with buckets at your feet to catch any leftover ‘greywater’ for later use on the plants or for outside cleaning and limiting your shower time with a timer. You can even set yourself a ‘best time’ goal if you’re feeling competitive!
We can be unaware of the impact our daily actions have on the environment. By sharing our environmental knowledge, we encourage others to recognise problems, discover available avenues and generate new ideas.
If this article has inspired you to take an active role in protecting our environment this Earth Day, please share it across social media. Your like-minded, eco-activist friends may be interested in accompanying you on your quest for a better world.
9. Instigate an eco-friendly office
According to Rombourne, eco-friendly serviced offices: “everything we do impacts the environment. From driving to work, to how and what you recycle, being a ‘Green’ business, and ensuring you have eco-friendly office has become more important than ever. However, an eco-friendly office doesn’t just give you the peace of mind that you’re making a conscious effort to lower your environmental impact; it can also make your employees happy. In fact, 72% of UK workers say that having an eco-friendly office is important to them”.
So you could make some positive eco-friendly changes in your office, such as instigating the use of bamboo pens, recycling such and re-using packaging and recycling bins, installing solar panels, earth friendly cleaning products and you could even work towards becoming a paperless office. You could get the team together and brainstorm environmentally friendly changes in your office to get their “buy-in” and something that you can all work toward making a positive difference together.
Each one of us can make a difference. Together we make a change.