On April 22nd 2021, Earth Day will be celebrated. This is the 51st anniversary of this holiday, with this year’s theme focusing on “Restoring Our Earth”.
What Is Earth Day?
Earth Day’s mission is to diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide. They are the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement, working with more than 75,000 partners in over 190 countries to drive positive action for our planet.
Their vision for change includes “the world to hold sectors accountable for their role in our environmental crisis while also calling for bold, creative, and innovative solutions. This will require action at all levels, from business and investment to the city and national government.”, they also tell us how individuals can get involved “you yield real power and influence as a consumer, a voter, and a member of a community that can unite for change.”.
This year organisers are calling for three days of climate action, from April 20th to April 22nd, but the week running up to Earth Day, and often the entire month, is a time when environmental issues are brought to the forefront.
The three days of climate action start with a global youth climate summit, led by Earth Uprising, followed by the Hip Hop Caucus and its partners presenting the “We Shall Breathe” virtual summit in the evening.
The second day will be led by Education International, promoting “Teach for the Planet: Global Education Summit”, a multilingual virtual summit that spans several time zones and features prominent activists from every continent.
Finally, on Earth Day a digital event with workshops, panel discussions, and special performances to focus on the “Restore Our Earth” theme. Here “world climate leaders, grassroots activists, nonprofit innovators, thought leaders, industry leaders, artists, musicians, influencers, and the leaders of tomorrow will come to push us towards a better world.”.
Where Did Earth Day Come From?
The first Earth Day was held on April 22nd 1970, when San Francisco activist John McConnell and Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson asked Americans to join in a demonstration to cover the serious issues of toxic drinking water, air pollution, and the effects of pesticides. An incredible amount of people protested together, 20 million Americans—10% of the population at that time!
Earth Day has become a time for communities or individuals to gather together and give back to our planet by cleaning up litter, planting trees, reducing their single-use plastics and appreciating nature.
4 Things You Can Do To Support Our Planet This Earth Day
Do A Litter Cleanup
One of the best ways to help our environment is to complete a cleanup, all you need is a bin bag and some gardening or work gloves.
Visit your local park or roadside, which you know is polluted with rubbish, that needs a touch of spring cleaning. We recommend you wear a high-visibility jacket if you’re working near a busy road.
If you’ve recently watched Seaspiracy, or live near a beach, you may want to do a specific beach cleanup - so many plastics wash up onto our beaches and harm the local wildlife. This activity may work best if you get a group of friends together, as the beach is so expansive you may have much more to pick up.
If you don’t have the capacity to commit to a specific cleanup session, then make an effort to watch out for any rubbish you come across on a walk or your commute and take it to the nearest bin, every little bit helps!
Make Sure You’re Recycling
Every product you buy has an environmental footprint and could end up in landfill, with 14 million tonnes of waste heading to landfill sites each year in the UK alone. (1)
The first thing you can do is recycle what you can. Checking the labels on your products and ensuring they’re sorted into the right bin is essential. Make sure you aren’t “wish-cycling” though, this is where you chuck something into the recycling bin because you thinkit can be recycled- remember this could cause a whole batch to be spoiled and get thrown out due to contamination.
You also must remember to wash your recyclables, because if an item arrives at the centre covered in food it may be thrown away too, due to the contamination mentioned above.
Say No To Single-Use Plastics
Making the change from single-use plastics to reusables ones will help reduce the 295 billion pieces of plastic waste thrown every year in the UK. (2)
Reduce your plastic use by grabbing yourself some eco alternatives this Earth Day. Swap out the plastic straw for metal, glass, or silicone alternatives, as well as a reusable coffee cup for your cafe trips. Get yourself reusable bags to take on your next shopping trip, and some reusable utensils for picnics or travel.
The above isn’t an exhaustive list, but these are often the worst pollutants, as they can be ingested by birds and marine animals causing them to suffocate. Up to 100,000 marine animals die each year from getting entangled in plastics (3), and these are just the creatures that have been found.
Reduce Your Animal Consumption
The animal agriculture industry is a big problem for planet Earth, with emissions occurring from every stage of production. Raising livestock for meat, eggs, and milk generates 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, which is the second-highest source of emissions, as well as being greater than all transport combined. (5)
Farming animals releases two powerful greenhouse gases - methane from livestock and nitrous oxide from fertilisers, with the majority of these emissions being a result of the production and preparation of meat and dairy products. Reducing your animal consumption or following a vegan diet will have a direct impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
From another perspective, if the entire United Stated stopped eating meat, the reduction of emissions would be like taking 60 million cars off the road. (6)
Eating fish is also causing a big issue, for an in-depth insight into this check out our blog on Seaspiracy, but reducing or eliminating your fish consumption will also have great effects on the environment.
There is a wide range of vitamins and minerals you can take to boost your health whilst supporting our planet, and taking supplements is a great way to support your diet to ensure healthy bodily function and optimum performance. If you’re looking to begin a new supplement regime, then check out Omvits, a 100% plant-based, ocean-friendly, and sustainable multivitamin and mineral creator.