Today is Earth Day, a day of reflection on the ever pressing climate emergency we’re facing. The past year has been so entirely focussed on dealing with the pandemic, that the climate activism traction gained before Covid seems to have lost momentum. This simply cannot be, and it’s worth remembering that the pandemic was triggered by a series of climate-related events in the first place. Today, we need to get things back on track.
Right now, 30 per cent of the world’s population is exposed to deadly heat waves more than 20 days a year; plastic makes up 80% of the ocean’s debris; and animal populations have declined by 68% since the 1970s. If we don’t act now, not only will we see the extinction of all wild animals and habitats, but we will suffer first-hand from hunger, poverty, and even extinction.
So, what can be done?
There’s no denying that solving the climate emergency will be hard, especially as entities of power across the globe continue to put the responsibility and blame on individual’s consumption, despite the real power and ability to make a change lying with governments and private companies. Short of creating a global financial model to reward sustainability, there are a few things we can all do this Earth Day to do our bit, however small, to save our planet.
Here are 5 things you could do this Earth Day to help make our world more sustainable.
1. Write to MP about a universal basic income (UBI) policy
Universal Basic income is a social model whereby a financial payment is made to every citizen, unconditionally, at a level above their subsistence needs. UBI is needed to break the link between work and consumption. In turn, breaking this link would mean people increasingly choose work that they thought mattered, rather than working ever harder to consume ever more.
2. Start eating plant-based
Reducing our meat and fish intake is arguably one of the most effective ways to reduce your personal carbon footprint. By going plant-based you will save 33,000 gallons of water a month, 84m2 of forest, 30 animal lives, and 280KG of CO2 (70% of your carbon footprint). It’s a bit of a no-brainer.
3. Go to a charity shop
Another major action you can take is to give up online clothes hauls and fast-fashion. Ordering a new top for £5 from anywhere is unethical on every level. Not only is the carbon footprint of that garment enormous, with production and transportation emissions grossly outweighing the value of the garment, but the workers who made the garment are likely working in sub-par conditions and paid an unfair wage. Try going to a local charity shop instead where you can give existing clothing a second life, contribute to charity, and use almost zero carbon emissions in the process.
4. Sign a petition
Are you looking for a low-hassle solution? It’s not the most revolutionary way to make a tangible difference to your carbon footprint but signing climate-related petitions is a good start. Take 5 minutes out of your day to sign as many as you can and share them with your network. Every little helps…
5. Challenge your friends and family to do the same
Today is Earth Day, it’s the perfect opener. By sharing this article with friends and family you will be more than doubling the impact you can have on your own. Spread the word and encourage small changes that together add up to a big difference.
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