Updated: May 9
Earth Day has been celebrated on 22 April each year since it started in 1970 to highlight important issues such as climate change, pollution, deforestation, and plastic waste. The goal is to educate people around the world and to promote environmental movements.
In 2018 the priority will be on emissions from plastics. Rubbish and contaminants in our seas are continually washed up on animal-threatening beaches and the beauty of the environment and about 8 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean each year, increasing to 160 million tons by 2025 at the current rate.
So what should we do to help the issue of plastic pollution?
Here are some things you can do on Earth Day to do your bit to save the world.
Trees and forests are of utmost importance for providing animals with food, habitats, and services that involve humans. Deforestation leads to greenhouse gases, with the loss of trees leading to an estimated 15% of all greenhouse gas emissions.
To help make your environment a little greener and reduce deforestation and climate change; plant a tree or even a forest! You may buy saplings from garden centers, or order them from the Woodland Trust online. Whether purchase a single sapling, or a tree pack containing as many as 210 trees. For your school or a local group, you can also apply for free trees.
We love eating meat as a species, particularly in the West, but that puts a great deal of pressure on this industry. As well as possible animal welfare issues resulting from intensive farming, the environmental harm caused by animal products is also a huge issue. Specifically, beef uses a lot of ground, a lot of water and generates a lot of greenhouse gases. If you're a meat-eater, reducing the amount you're consuming would have a beneficial environmental effect. One day a week, you might start small and go meat-free (it'll even save you money, or even try to go vegetarian, you never know, you might love it.
Cars make an important contribution to air pollution, climate change, and have a detrimental impact on human health. They create harmful gasses such as carbon monoxide and oxides of nitrogen, which then enter our atmosphere which we all breathe in.
Instead of taking your car, instead, try walking or riding a bike. This is a good exercise which also leads to a healthy lifestyle. If you don't have a bicycle, carpooling with others will help to reduce your footprint of carbon.
Farmers' markets are a great way to get fresh produce and are beneficial in many ways. Firstly, they support local businesses encouraging positive growth in your area. They also tend to use a lot less, or even no plastic packaging compared to supermarkets, so help reduce waste. Finally, the products are grown or made locally so transport distances are very short and CO2 emissions are low.
Supermarkets on the other hand transport food over thousands of miles from different countries. If there isn’t a farmers market near you, then try to buy grocery products that are from the INDIA and organic.
More than 480 billion plastic bottles were sold in 2016 which is more than 60 per person. If everybody had a water bottle that could be reused, then the number would decrease considerably. If you don't already own one, then go out and buy a bottle you can take wherever you go with you.
Cutting down on single-use plastic bottles often means drinking fewer juices and fizzy drinks, good for your health because they contain a lot of sugar and even odd chemicals. If they are in a glass container, then this is a safer choice for plastic waste reduction.