How to Support Earth Day
Earth day is a great time to appreciate what we have. It’s also a reminder to keep doing everything we can to contribute to a healthier planet. What we do today makes a difference tomorrow. There are 9 billion people in the world and if even half of us make small daily changes we’ll inevitably see big impacts. In this article we’ll go over how to support earth day with easy steps you can take as an individual, and we’ll also touch on many positive initiatives that have taken place over the last 20 years. Things that have saved our animal species and our planet. This is a blog about an optimistic future, to motivate and push us to do a little more each day, and to know that not all is lost.
10 changes we made over the last 40 years that worked!
1. The Montreal ProtocolIn 1989 the Montreal Protocol came into effect. It is a global agreement that phased out CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) and related chemicals to protect the earth’s depleting ozone layer. The Montreal Protocol treaty is considered “the most successful international environmental treaty to date.”
2. The Ban of DDTThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency banned the use of DDT in 1972. Canada followed suit in 1973. The extensive use of DDT was responsible for the large decline in the bald eagle population. It is a synthetic insecticide that causes harm to wildlife, the environment and humans. The ban has allowed the bald eagle population to recover and given us and wildlife a much cleaner environment to live in.
3. Uncontrolled Whaling
Is responsible for putting a number of marine species on the endangered list, including humpback whales. In 1966 a ban on uncontrolled whaling began across the world allowing the humpback whale to come off the risk of extinction list. Whales contribute to the growing conditions of phytoplankton, which is responsible for removing carbon from the air.
4. Edible CutleryNarayana Peesapaty, the founder of a cutlery company in India, invented edible cutlery in 2010. He wanted to combat the world’s plastic problem contributing to groundwater depletion and its effects on human health.
5. Bottleless WaterSkipping Rocks Labs have created an edible water pod made from seaweed. They are trying to create a more sustainable solution to single-use plastic bottles. The pods are currently only used at events like running marathons and triathlons, but think how many plastic cups are already being saved at water stations.
6. An Inconvenient Truth
Is a documentary about the former president of the united states, Al Gore. It talks about his campaign to educate people on climate change. The documentary helped create awareness of global warming and helped fuel the environmental movement.
7. The Ocean Clean Up
Is a non-profit company cleaning up waterways and oceans around the world with the advanced technology they develop. They have currently removed 250.000 football fields of waste from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
8. The Basel Convention
Controls dangerous waste movement between countries and waste collected from households to protect human and environmental health. In January of this year, the convention was changed to include certain types of plastic waste. The goal is to eliminate plastic waste from entering the environment, especially our oceans and waterways.
9. The Paris Agreement
Is an international treaty on climate change to limit global warming below 2 degrees celsius. A lot still needs to be done, but so far the act is responsible for a ton of low carbon solutions entering the market. Especially in the power and transport industries.
10. The First Earth DayThe first Earth Day was on April 22, 1970. It began as a way to address the environmental concerns affecting the U.S. In 1990 Earth Day went global and is now celebrated all over the world. Earth Day has since improved recycling efforts worldwide and brought billions of people together to fight climate change and global warming.
How to Support Earth Day as an Individual
Earth Day may only happen once a year but these small changes made every day will support the environment and a better future for us all. Together we can all Thrive!
Lights OutTurn off the lights when you leave a room. You can also switch to energy-saving light bulbs. They use up to 90% less energy and last 25x longer than standard light bulbs.
UnplugUnplug appliances when they aren’t being used because they still draw power even when turned off. Around 10% of your energy bill comes from appliances that are turned off but still plugged in.
Embrace the ColdWash your laundry in cold water whenever possible. 90% of your household energy usage comes from heating water. This will save you money, and most fabric lasts longer when washed in cold water.
CompostCompost all food waste. Anything that can be eaten can be composted. There are compost containers that keep pests out if that’s a concern. Food is not biodegradable when put into landfills. It doesn’t get enough air, so it creates methane gas.
Meatless MondayTry meatless Mondays or adding some vegan dishes to your repertoire. If you’ve never had vegan food before, you’d be surprised at how satisfying the dishes are and how much variety there is. Cutting back on meat a few times a week can have a significant impact on your carbon footprint.
Conserve WaterTake shorter showers and turn the tap off when brushing your teeth, washing your face or shaving. A running tap uses 11 – 19 litres of water a minute. Water conservation means less is coming out of our freshwater resources.
Support small businesses and shop locally. Local products don’t have to travel as far, reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It also supports your local community, and often the quality is better.
Buy Organic Food
Shop for organic foods when you can. Buying organic can be affordable, and it reduces pollution, conserves water, uses less energy, improves soil and keeps toxic chemicals out of the air and water.
Eco-friendly Personal CareLook for eco-friendly personal care products or make your own. Shop for ones that contain natural ingredients and avoid personal care products containing microbeads. They end up in our water system and cause harm to wildlife. Eco-friendly products are better for our health too!
Skip the ElevatorTake the stairs instead of the elevator. It will get your heart pumping, and you can skip the monotonous elevator music.
RecycleRecycling keeps getting better and better each year, with more products now being accepted at collection depots. You can recycle plastic bags, foam packaging, batteries, electronics, foil wrappers and even the thin plastic packaging that some items come wrapped in.
Get a Pet PlantAdding plants to your home not only makes it look and smell great, but it will cut down on your energy bill. Plants placed around your home can reduce the energy required to heat or cool.
Plant a Garden
If you have a bit of a yard, consider starting a garden. If you have a patio, you can hang some flower baskets. It helps out our pollinators like bees, insects and butterflies, who are becoming endangered due to pesticide use and climate change.
Shop SustainablyResearch your favourite brands to find out what they are doing to work towards environmental sustainability. Responsible purchasing decisions have an impact. What are the company’s values, what are they doing, check what materials their products are made from. Buying better quality products that will last longer will benefit you in the long run. You can find out more information about a company on their website.
Smart TechSwitching over to smart technology in your home saves you money and cuts down your energy consumption. Forget to turn your lights or air conditioning off? You can do it right from your phone with smart tech. It can also keep track of your energy use, showing what areas could be improved.
Go GreenMake your home a little more green. Try switching to eco-friendly toilet paper, soaps and cleaners. Use reusable containers and bee’s wax wraps for food storage. Instead of using a paper towel to dry your hands, stock up on reusable cloth you can throw in the wash. You can find an eco-friendly version of almost anything now on Well.ca.
Instead of recycling or throwing out used items and packaging, can you repurpose them? You can turn old clothing into new clothing or quilts; it also makes an excellent rag for washing cars. Glass beverage containers are perfect for vases or salad dressing containers!
Bike RideRide your bike to work or down to the corner store instead of taking your car. Riding your bike instead of driving saves about 71% of the greenhouse gases emitted. Plus, it saves you money and keeps you active.
LearnEducate yourself and others on environmental issues like land conservation, water pollution, climate change, ocean cleanup, waste management and renewable resources. Knowing what’s going on in the world makes you more aware of how your impact affects it. Share what you learn with others to keep the conversation going.
Get OutsideGo for a walk or hike in your neighbourhood. Celebrate Earth Day by getting outside and exploring it. We are fortunate to live in a country with so many natural wonders right in our backyard.
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