On 22nd April, the world comes together every year to celebrate Earth Day, and this time the theme is ‘Invest in our Planet’. Sounds interesting, for sure, but are you wondering what you can reasonably action to do your bit, and why we even honour this date in the first place?
Earth Day serves as an important annual reminder of the fragility of our precious planet and how crucial it is to protect it at all costs. People across the globe choose to mark the occasion to promote environmental awareness, and to also remind us that we can carry out simple actions in our everyday lives to look after the only home we have – not just for our own benefit but for future generations, too.
If you haven’t already been inspired by the content in our termly Green Newsletter or tried out our energy-saving pointers in The Green Guide, read on for our five top tips on how to join forces for the greater, greener good, on 22nd April – and beyond!
1. Eat more plants
It’s no secret that following a plant-based diet is one of the easiest ways to have a positive impact on the environment. After all, reducing your consumption of animal products massively relieves our planet of the burden of animal agriculture – a huge contributor towards ecological destruction – so switch things up and fight climate change with diet change!
Don’t underestimate the influence you can have – starting small is the way to go, adding in one or two plant-based meals into your weekly menu and taking it from there. Whether you prefer chefing up fresh veggies and plant proteins from scratch or would rather pop something tasty in the oven after a long day at the library, the internet is overflowing with delicious climate-friendly recipes, not to mention the masses of plant-power options in all the supermarkets and high-street eateries.
2. Get green-fingered
While we’re on the subject of plants, let’s talk about our lovely leafy friends! We see trees nearly every day, but it’s all too easy to forget just what they do for our beautiful planet that we call home.
Planting a tree in your local area is a great way to celebrate Earth Day and feel more grounded and connected – especially if you can get together with some of your flatmates to get earthy! Trees not only cool down the planet (collectively, they help decrease a city’s temperature by as much as 10 degrees!) but they also help produce oxygen and filter out nasty air pollutants, among a ton of other benefits. Win, win!
3. Finish with fast fashion
The fast-fashion industry has transformed what we wear in recent years, but not for the better when it comes to the environment – churning out 100 billion new garments every year that, more often than not, then end up unworn or in landfill. The excessive textile production needed to keep up with fast fashion results in overwhelming CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as polluting the Earth’s water. Did you know that almost 3,000 litres of water are needed to product just one cotton T-shirt?
So instead of resorting to your trusty online shopping sites, take control and look at the clothes that you’ve already got or even make an evening of it with your friends to see if you can do some swaps. Rediscover old pieces and think about how you could customise them into new ones – learning how to repair and personalise your own garments arms you with handy new skills and can be a really fun way of reducing your emissions footprint!
And if you just can’t resist a new outfit, remember to shop for quality over quantity and focus on a capsule wardrobe that you can easily mix and match! Consider checking out your local charity shops, sites like vinted.co.uk and depop.com, or researching ethical brands that practice transparency and sustainability.
4. Get outside
People have short memories, but let’s not forget that it wasn’t all that long ago when social distancing and government guidelines meant that we couldn’t head outside at our leisure. Now that spring’s here, let’s make the most of the great outdoors this year and do our bit for the planet and our mindset at the same time!
Swap those car or bus journeys for a walk instead when you can – it’s not only good for the environment, but can also help you to get to know your neighbourhood a bit more…it’s amazing what you spot when you’re walking! Don’t forget that Earth Day is also a reminder of just how incredible our planet is, so make the most of it and spend an afternoon outdoors away from your social apps – getting stuck into a good book, having lunch with friends, or just taking in deep breaths of the fresh air to calm your mind.
5. Find your voice
Finally, get involved and follow the Earth Day 2022 movement! Make your voice count and head over to change.org – said to be the fastest growing website for social change in the world – or tune into Earth Day Live for talks, performances and inspiring messages about investing in our planet. There’s no time like the present to be the change!
At Sanctuary Students, we’re passionate about protecting our planet, and sustainability is a key priority that we’re actively working on in a bid to reduce our environmental impact. Each and every one of us has a responsibility to care for our planet, and with your help, we’re aiming to become a net-zero organisation.
If Earth Day strikes a chord with you and you’re interested in finding out about what we’re doing to promote a sustainable future or indeed get involved with your own ideas, take a look at our ‘Sustainability’ page for more information.