This week it was Earth Day, an annual day of support for environmental protection. It was started in the 1960’s by activists to protest against increasing air and water pollution in the USA, however in recent years, it has become a day for somewhat performative statements from companies who often don’t have the environment in their best interests (greenwashing).
The Earth is a beautiful place, you know this, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this post. And we need to take action to protect it. Whilst it is the big companies who are worst for the environment, we can all take small actions to help protect the environment. However, it’s important to remember that these are actions we should be taking every single day, not just once a year. The Earth is our home. Every day is Earth Day.
If you want to help protect the planet, here are five really easy things you can start doing to make a change.
1. Ditch single-use plastics
It’s estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than there are fish. Only 9% of plastic waste is recycled – the majority ends up in landfill or in nature. [Source: National Geographic]
What you can do:
- Buy loose fruit & veg instead of plastic-packaged ones.
- Choose shampoo, conditioner and soap bars instead of plastic bottles.
- Switch to reusable products e.g. water bottles, menstrual products & make up remover pads.
2. Stop eating (as much) meat, fish & dairy
You don’t have to go fully vegan or vegetarian to make a difference (but it will help!). A vegan diet produces 1.5 tonnes of carbon emissions per year compared to 3.3 tonnes for meat eaters.
What you can do:
- Try ‘meat free mondays’ to start a new habit
- Use meat-free alternatives to help recreate your favourite meals
- Switch your meals up so meat isn’t the centrepiece of the dish
- If you’re going to be eating out, check out my vegan travel guides for the best vegan restaurants I’ve eaten at
3. Stop buying new clothes
Did you know that one item of clothing can take up to 200 years to decompose in landfill, and there are currently enough clothes on the planet to clothe the next six generations?! 🤯
What you can do:
- Be an outfit repeater! Mend your clothes when they are broken and upcycle them when you fall of love with them.
- Shop secondhand & swap your clothes with friends
- Remember: the most sustainable clothes are the ones you already own.
- Ask yourself these five questions to help curb the temptation to buy something new, and check out my sustainable fashion tips.
4. Switch to an ethical bank
Most people don’t realise that their money could be contributing to climate change without even spending it! Many banks invest in funding fossil fuels & fracking, things that are hugely detrimental to the planet.
- The worst offenders are: HSBC, Lloyds, RBS, Barclays and Santander
- The most ethical uk banks are: Triodos, Cumberland Building Society, Monzo, Nationwide Building Society, Starling
- It’s very easy to switch to a different bank and you might even get an incentive (££) for switching!
5. Choose a green energy provider
Green energy providers pull energy from renewable sources such as solar panels and wind turbines instead of fossil fuels. It’s very hard to pull 100% natural gas, and there’s only one provider in the UK who offers 100% green gas: Green Energy UK. Most green energy providers therefore offer 25% natural gas and offset the rest – usually by planting trees. Some great green energy providers to look into are:
- Octopus Energy (use this link for £50 off when you switch!)
These are five simple things that will help protect the Earth every single day – which will you start doing first?
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