8 simple things you can do to help our planet right now
The 22nd of April is Earth Day, a day we reflect on our amazing planet, and take action to protect it. Earth looks after us – and we need to look after it. With climate change happening here and now, every single one of us needs to make changes to help our planet. The good news is some of those changes can be quite small, but they add up to something big.
Here are a few simple steps you can take, right now, to help the environment.
Ditch the plastic
You probably know the three Rs – reduce, reuse, recycle – they’re a good start. But when it comes to plastics (the ones clogging the oceans and choking the soil for thousands of years) those 3 Rs might not be enough. The team behind Earth Day suggests three more: remove, refuse, rally. In practice that might mean buying fruit and veg that’s loose (not wrapped), refusing to buy single-use products like plastic water bottles, and writing to businesses to ask them about their use of plastic.
Show your support
You’ve seen the amazing NHS rainbows popping up everywhere – turns out a window is a great, easy way to show your support safely in a pandemic. Now’s the time to add another sign, this time to show your support for the planet. The Earth Day website has some great ideas for what to write, we’re leaning towards something floral...maybe ‘spread seeds, not plastic’? Get some sign ideas.
Help save the bees
Bees are in crisis in the UK. Habitat loss and intensive farming mean their populations have nosedived. Our fuzzy friends are really important for pollinating crops (and flowers!), in fact without them our world just wouldn’t function. To help them, and other pollinators (bees might get the most attention but wasps and flies are crucial too) introduce plants and flowers to your garden that our flying friends love. Wildflowers, lavender, honeysuckle – all sorts of beautiful plants can help our pollinators.
Does that hen party really need to be in Spain? Do you really need to drive to the office? Taking a good long look at how we travel might not be much fun, but when planes and cars are pumping tons of carbon into the atmosphere, it’s crucial. Try swapping petrol power for pedal power (healthy for you and the planet), having holidays in the UK or if you do have to use a car only using it for essential journeys (or sharing lifts if you’re commuting).
Food waste, packaging waste, clothes waste – it seems whatever we do we generate some kind of rubbish. Now’s the time to hold your nose and get up close and personal with what you’re chucking away. You might find you can make some simple swaps and reductions to cut down what’s going in the bin. Milk is a good example – old-fashioned glass milk bottles are making a comeback, with some towns even offering milk vending machines where you bring your own glass bottles. Look online to see if there’s a milk delivery van coming your way.
While we’re talking waste, maybe we wouldn’t have so much to manage if we bought less, or better quality stuff, to start with! That’s why thinking extra carefully about what you’re buying and where you’re buying it from is so important. Will it last? Is it made from sustainable materials? Can you recycle it? How ethical is the place you’re buying from? Asking ourselves these questions, and acting on the answers, should become the norm if we want to reduce our waste and change how products are made.
Speaking of planting, have you got room for a tree? Trees are expert atmosphere cleaners and brilliant habitats for all sorts of creatures and critters. They’re a key part of the fight against climate change and we need more of them, pronto! You could have a small tree in a pot or plant a sapling in a corner of the garden. No garden? You could try organising tree planting in your community, or donate a tree through a charity like The Woodland Trust.
Support green energy
Our dependence on fossil fuels is possibly the biggest challenge in the fight against climate change. We fire up our computers, our kettles, our microwaves and that lovely giant telly – all without really thinking about what’s powering them all: fossil fuels. Fossil fuels that are non-renewable and warming our earth to dangerous levels. Now is the time to say enough. And luckily today there are a few ways to do that. You could swap to a ‘green’ energy package, where all your power comes from renewable sources, or make sure your pension or any investments are invested in ‘green’ funds, which don’t feature fossil fuel companies. It’s all about voting with your wallet.
We know individuals alone can’t fight climate change, businesses like ours also have a huge role to play in keeping our planet healthy. We take that responsibility seriously. Want to learn more about what we’re doing to help the earth? Read how we’re making Interflora more sustainable.