This year will mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. An annual environmental-themed event which asks the world to recognize our growing environmental issues. This is a day for us all to acknowledge our environmental impact and to start making some positive changes.
This year, Earth Day takes place on 22nd April, and the theme is “Climate Action”. It’s estimated that over 1 billion people celebrate Earth Day every single year, and more than 190 countries across the world take part in the celebration.
This year, Earth Day’s aim is to “flood the world with messages of hope, optimism, and above all, action”. Therefore, we at Dolma would like to offer some great ways for you to take action and support our planet.
What Actions Can You Take This Earth Day?
Often, we feel small and out of control. After all, we’re only one person, right? But the truth is, your individual actions are important. Not only do you help mitigate your perosnal negative impact on the planet, but you can help open other’s minds to their impact through your positive actions.
That’s why it’s crucial that we all, as a collective, come together and start making some changes in our own lives. Here is what you can do:
The single most significant action you can take this Earth Day is to get informed about climate change. We all know that climate change is bad. But many of us don’t know the true reality or extent of what is happening.
Knowledge is power, and when we learn the facts, it helps us to make real changes in our lives. It also helps us to spread the information to others. If everyone learned a bit more about the environmental issues we’re facing and helped spread that knowledge, more people are likely to take real action.
To learn more about Climate Change, take a look at these useful links:
- NASA – Climate Change and Global Warming
- GlobalChange – Understanding Climate Change
- UN CC:Learn – The Scientific Fundamentals of Climate Change (PDF)
- Climate Atlas – Climate Change: The Basics
Or you can check out this short, simple and informative video from the popular science YouTube channel, “It’s Okay To Be Smart”.
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Hold Yourself Accountable
Before you start screaming “it’s not my fault!! It’s the big corporations, greedy oil tycoons, and corrupt governments”, just hear us out.
Yes, those corporations, governments, and their lack of policy are complicit in many crimes against our environment. However, a lot of what they do is to help provide you with low cost and convenient goods and services in your life. And you have a choice.
Each human on this planet has a personal impact on the earth. The level of that impact is determined by your everyday actions, the things you buy, and the energy you consume.
For example, a high-flying businessman that drives around in a Ferrari eating McDonald’s and taking four holidays a year will have a much bigger impact than say a person riding their bicycle to work armed with a vegan pack lunch whose idea of a great holiday is a cottage in Cornwall.
We all lead different lifestyles, and therefore, we all have different personal impacts on the planet. Take Earth Day as a chance to take inventory of your own personal impact. You can calculate your personal carbon footprint here. You may just be surprised!
Use this information to improve your personal impact in any way you can.
Unplug and Become Efficient
Can you use energy more efficiently? Are you able to adopt renewable energy sources for your home? Can you install energy-efficient light bulbs? Can you switch off electrical appliances before bed?
We can all do something to help use energy more efficiently. Unplugging items, when not in use, is the simplest action you can take. “Phantom Electricity” is the power used by electronic appliances when they’re left in standby mode or turned off but still left plugged in.
Typically, Phantom Electricity makes up around 25% of your overall household energy usage! Make unplugging your electronic devices a new habit for Earth Day.
In 2018, a study published in the journal Science stated that going vegan is “the single biggest way” to reduce your impact on Earth. The study created a dataset on 40,000 farms worldwide in 199 countries. Their research looked at over 40 food products that represent 90% of the foods eaten worldwide.
The study discovered the enormous carbon footprint of livestock. The research team also found that animal products only provided 18% of the world’s calories but took up 83% of the world’s farmland.
Joseph Poore, from The University of Oxford, who led the research, concluded that:
“A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use”.
If you’re already a vegan, then great! If not, maybe Earth Day is a time to consider making the transition. Looking for some help? You can use one of these great resources:
- Challenge yourself! – Veganuary or Challenge22
- Vegan Society – How to Go Vegan
- Healthline – The Vegan Diet — A Complete Guide for Beginners
While we’re all on lockdown right now, when things return to normal, it might be worth assessing your travel habits. Can you get a bus or train rather than driving? Can you fly less and holiday back in the UK? Maybe you could take the Eurostar and take a trip to Europe.
Cycling to work, if possible, makes a massive difference to your personal impact. Walking to your local shops instead of driving also helps and keeps you healthy. In the EU, road transportation is the largest emitter of carbon emissions in the transport sector at a staggering 72.8%!
Anything you can do to spend less time on the road will benefit the planet in a big way. Walk, take the train or cycle whenever possible.
Every single product you buy has its own personal carbon footprint. From your toothbrush to your cruelty-free perfume to your purse, they all have a personal impact.
Climate change continues to dominate our headlines and consumers are becoming more aware of our environmental issues.
As a result, many companies are now going eco-friendly. This includes making their production methods more energy efficient, using fewer resource-intensive materials, adopting eco-packaging, and offsetting carbon emissions from any transportation.
As a consumer, you have the choice to buy from these proactive companies and brands. Look for companies that are transparent about their business. Many new ethical and eco-friendly companies have mission statements on their websites discussing how they’re proactively mitigating their impact on the planet.
As consumers, we have the power of demand. We can choose whether that demand will benefit the planet or not. Each time you buy an ethical or eco-friendly product, you’re voting for a better, more environmentally friendly world.
The vegan movement over the last few years is a testament to how consumer demand can change the landscape of business and force corporations to operate more ethically. We have much more power than we think.