Every April, Earth Day pops up in our calendar, but very few of us actually celebrate it – or know what it is. Earth Day was established in 1970, in the US, after Senator Gaylord Nelson, a junior senator from Wisconsin, rallied allies Pete McCloskey, a conservation-minded Republican Congressman, and Denis Hayes, a young activist, to bring to the world’s attention his concern for the planet. Nelson arranged for colleges and organisations to carve out April 22nd in their calendars, and arranged for a variety of events to take place, bringing to the surface just how precious our earth is and the destruction we were doing to it.
Fast forward 51 years and our commitment to all things sustainable and planet-friendly has only continued to grow – especially if Sir David Attenborough has anything to do with it. His documentary, ‘A Life on Our Planet,’ both educated and shocked the world, as he brought to light how the harm we are doing to the planet and highlighted the action we need to take to save it.
Brief history lesson over. Now let’s look at what we can all do to be kinder to the planet. From what we buy to what we eat, a little goes a long way when it comes to saving the earth.
1. Buy local
There are Farmers Markets all over the UK, bringing you delicious, fresh and most importantly, local produce. If you’re going to eat animal products, let’s at least get them from a local supplier. You’ll be supporting farmers, reducing your CO2 footprint and we guarantee the food will taste 100 times better than the supermarket. Veg box deliveries like Oddbox are also a brilliant idea.
2. Get a reusable water bottle
These days most of us have a trustee water bottle we won’t leave home without. It’s become a trend. It’s fashionable to have a water bottle. If you’re not part of this trend, it’s about time you joined it.
3. Reduce your intake of animal products
We’re not saying you have to go vegan but maybe try doing one or two days a week. Alternatives to animal products have come on hugely in the last couple of years. From ‘fake’ bacon to dairy free yoghurts and even egg substitutes, you’ll be surprised just how big the ‘vegan market’ has grown.
4. Unplug your appliances
No, just turning them off at the wall isn’t good enough, we actually have to unplug our appliances in order to save energy. Coffee makers, lamps, chargers, hair dryers… everything. 3,2,1 GO.
5. Take a mindful approach to buying clothes
Buying new clothes makes us feel good. So think how much better you’d feel if you were buying those clothes from more sustainable brands. Sweaty Betty uses post-consumer plastic bottles to make many of their Super Sculpt Leggings, they also use recycled cotton, bamboo fabric and lots of other more sustainable alternatives. Oh, and don’t forget about Depop and charity shops – you can find some absolute bargains if you look properly.
6. Make refillables a thing
From cleaning products to nuts, dried fruit and even milk, refillables are slowly catching on.
In most places you buy the container once and then each time it runs dry you take it back to the shop and refill it – usually at a lower cost too. More and more places are beginning to offer a refill option and we love it.
7. Grow your own vegetables
Not everyone’s lucky enough to have a garden big enough to grow their own fruit and vegetables but many of us can at least turn a standard garden pot into a beautiful herb garden. You’ll be saving money, developing your green fingers, reducing waste and let’s be honest, there’s nothing better than home grown goodies.
8. Turn the tap off
Are you one of those people who leaves the tap running while you brush your teeth? Turning off the tap while you’re brushing your teeth saves gallons of water each year. Similarly, we often run the shower until it’s warm enough to get into. Have you ever thought about putting a bucket under the shower to catch that water? You could use it to mop the floors, water the garden or your plants.
9. Go paperless
Everything is online these days and with phones becoming smarter and smarter, most of our spending is managed through apps.
So why do we still feel the need to have bills and statements sent to us in the mail when we can review them in a second on our phone? It’s time to go paperless. Think about how much paper you’d save. I.e trees!
10. Leave the car at home
Not all trips can be done on foot or by bike but if you can, do it. It’s not only a great way to keep your body and mind fit and healthy but it will reduce your carbon footprint dramatically – if you’ve calculated yours then you’ll know just how much driving a car adds to this.