World Environment Day 2020 is here! If you're not yet familiar with it, World Environment Day is a global event celebrating our wonderful natural environment and precious biodiversity.
It's also a key time to raise awareness about climate change and inspire global environmental action. The past year has seen devastating environmental events take place across the world, including wildfires in Australia, Brazil and America, and crop-destroying locust storms in Africa.
It's time for real change and there's never been a more important time to get involved.
We’ve all seen the amazing news regarding the changes in the behaviour of our wildlife (dolphins in Venice, no less!) throughout lockdown. The global lockdown has also provided a brief respite for the environment and seen a massive reduction of pollution in some of the world’s busiest cities.
It's been incredible to see the benefits to our earth, but how can we keep these positives going as the world begins to return to 'normal'.
We've put together our top 7 tips to help you create a cleaner, greener, more sustainable future.
1. Use your voice
We are the first generation to know we’re destroying the world, and we could be the last that can do anything about it. Your voice is powerful and speaking up has never been more important.
Social media can be incredibly useful in getting your voice out there. Find articles from reputable sources and share them. News, tips, guides - it's all helpful. Signing petitions and sharing them might seem small but they can trigger big results. If you care about creating change, then chances are your loved ones will do too. Think about the brands you buy from - are they behaving ethically? Contact the brands you like and ask them how they source their products. If you want them to change, then tell them.
Talk to your friends, your family, your colleagues - in fact, anyone you can. Get them to make positive changes in their lives too.
2. Go vegan (Or at least cut down on meat)
Food production is a major driver of wildlife extinction, causing around a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions and 60% of global biodiversity loss. The emissions from meat are particularly huge.
Farming animals for meat and dairy requires space and huge inputs of water and feed. One of the biggest causes of forest loss today is mass deforestation, primarily to produce agricultural land for animal feed production. Meat production also creates a great deal more carbon dioxide than plants like vegetables, grains and legumes.
Moving towards a more plant-based diet can lower your impact on the environment. Not only that but cutting down on meat and dairy products can reduce your weekly food bills too.
3. Encourage bugs!
Pollinators are absolutely crucial to the sustainability of our environment. Birds, bats, bees, butterflies, beetles and other plant pollinators are responsible for bringing us one out of every three bites of food! They also sustain our ecosystems and produce our natural resources by helping plants reproduce.
There are many ways you can help to encourage our pollinator pals, such as planting wildflowers and displaying bug and bee hotels in your garden! If you don't have access to a garden, try a window box or add a planter full of wildflowers to your balcony.
4. Travel responsibly
Before you jump into the car, consider other options for getting where you need to be. The most eco-friendly transport of all is of course walking. Strolling in the fresh air is a great way to increase your daily step count and exercise in a low impact way. Listen to your favourite music, podcast or get into a new audiobook while you walk - heaven!
If you've got further afield to go consider public transport instead. Switching to the train or underground cuts greenhouse gas emissions by 76 per cent per passenger mile compared to driving your car. Taking the bus drops emissions by 33 per cent per passenger mile over commuting solo.
If travelling to work is your biggest transport time, why not invest in a bike to get you there. By commuting on two wheels instead of four, we could cut greenhouse emissions by an estimated 11 per cent by 2050.
5. Reduce your waste
Every product we buy has an environmental footprint and could end up in a landfill. The impact of plastic pollution on our oceans is becoming increasingly clear, having drastic impacts on marine life.
If you're going to buy something, look for sustainable, responsible options. Biodegradable, natural materials are best and if possible, organic. Try upcycling items you already have into something new. If a piece of furniture is looking dated, why not give it a new lease of life with a touch of paint or new material! Pinterest is a great place to find upcycling inspiration.
It’s not just the products we buy. It’s estimated that a third of all food produced in the world is lost or wasted. If you find you're wasting a lot of food try planning your meals for the week ahead. By scheduling your meals ahead of time and organising your ingredients accordingly you're less likely to waste food. You could also try cooking food in batches and freezing portions for future mealtimes.
Support organisations who are doing valuable work to protect our natural resources. Charities like WWF are helping to restore nature and tackle the main causes of nature’s decline, particularly the food system and climate change.
There are lots of ways to support your favourite organisation. Sign up as a member and give a regular donation, take part in a fundraising challenge and donate the funds, or ask if you can volunteer your time to help them.
7. Stay informed
One of the absolute best things you can do is to keep yourself informed and up to date. After all, knowledge is power. It'll make you feel better equipped and more confident in talking to your friends and family about these important issues. Get to know the facts, stay up to date with the latest eco news and work out what you can do to make a difference.
Put the internet and social media to good use - seek out influential people and see what they're saying, keep up with the news and research organisations that are working to make our planet a better place.
'The New Normal Is...'
At EcoVibe, we want to keep these positive changes to the environment going and help to create a greener, kinder, more sustainable ‘normal’. Through July we’re going to be running a campaign to help us all build a better future.
Stay tuned for more news!