More than one billion people in 192 countries participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world. This Thursday, 22 April, we’re celebrating mother earth and doing our part to ensure this beautiful planet is here for years to come.
This year’s Earth Day theme is Restore Our Earth, which focuses on natural processes, emerging green technologies, and innovative thinking that can restore the world’s ecosystems.
It is up to each and every one of us to Restore Our Earth not just because we care about the natural world, but because we live on it. Here’s what you can do this Earth Day.
Watch Earth Day Live
For only the second time in history, you can plug into Earth Day Live as it floods cyberspace with messages of hope, optimism and action, giving everyone at home the chance to learn, share and protest virtually. There will be workshops, panel discussions, and special performances for you to enjoy. It’s live-streamed from the US so with the time difference, it will kick off at 2am AEST on Friday 23 April—but don’t worry, you can just log on when you wake up, as it will still be available on the site.
Organise A Clean Up
Here’s a shocking stat, 79% of all plastics ever produced have accumulated in the natural environment or landfills. To stop those ending up in the sea and polluting our waterways (and harming our wildlife), gather your mates and organise a group clean up in your hood. Working? Get your colleagues together—it’s the perfect bonding experience. Head here to register your clean up and find some easy tips and tools to get you started. Remember to think globally, act locally.
Ditch The Meat
We’re not saying you have to completely quit meat altogether but studies have shown that by reducing your intake you can help fight climate change. To inspire you on your plant-based journey, carve out some time today to watch one of these awesome vegan documentaries on Netflix.
Donate To Kiwi Conservation Programmes
DOC manages a vast range of conservation programmes throughout New Zealand in partnership with communities and businesses who work with them. Whether you choose to donate to the endangered species foundation or to your favourite native bird (such as the kākāpō recovery programme), or even Project Jonah NZ, you can rest easy knowing every penny of your donation will be put to good use.
Go Plastic Free, For Reals
You may have finally nailed the use of your keep cup, but there are plenty of other ways you can continue your war on waste in the name of Earth Day. Check out these tips to see what else you can be doing (hint: there’s a lot) to make your life a whole lot greener. Extra points if you make your plastic-free purchase from a local business.
Up Your Sustainability Cred With These Sustainability Books
There really is no easier way to get schooled on Earth Day than with a great book. From going plant-based and eliminating single-use plastics, to the circular economy and climate change, these incredible reads will open your eyes and inspire change. There’s never been a better time to have a break from your gory true-crime novel and get lost in something new.
Improve Your Food Footprint Immediately
With the endless amount of news and advice bombarding us each day, it can easily get overwhelming on knowing where and how to start your sustainability journey. So when it comes to doing your part for the environment, we’re a big advocate of tackling some simple swaps first. With everything from cling wrap alternatives to shopping locally, there’s plenty of simple changes to adopt.
Put Your Money Where Your Vote Is
A simple, yet extremely empowering way to help the planet is to familiarise yourself with your local MP and their policies. Yes, we know, politics can be tiresome at the best of times but self educating on whether or not they’re ethically responsible is a great way to inform your future vote and help make a difference in your local community.
Grow Your Own And Start A Herb Garden
Whether you’re inundated with seedlings you’ve been meaning to plant or you’ve always dreamed of growing your own herbs (and saying goodbye to pesky plastic sleeves and punnets from store bought herbs), Earth Day is the perfect excuse to become a green thumb. Whether it’s some harmless windowsill oregano and parsley, or a full blown outdoor herb garden with the works, there’s no denying this task is as sustainable as it is rewarding.
Clear Out Your Cupboards
Is your beauty cabinet bulging with plastic bottles holding potions you never even use? Give your morning routine a green makeover with these eco-friendly beauty products for your home and beyond. And while you’re at it, you might as well go through your wardrobe and donate any old clothes you’re no longer wearing so you can help stimulate the circular economy. When you’re in need of new threads, consider buying from one of these sustainable labels that put the planet's needs first.
Volunteer Your Time For The Planet
If you’ve been wondering how else you can help, there are heaps of initiatives in Auckland that you can contribute to by donating just a little of your time and energy. From helping the local flora and fauna, reducing your carbon footprint or getting around to finally recycling that stuff, here are six places you can get involved to do your bit.
So whether it’s live protesting from your living room, purchasing your first ever charcoal toothbrush or simply marvelling in this evening’s meteor shower from your backyard, there’s plenty of ways to show the Earth love and appreciation on this monumental day.
Ready to do more? Here are a few easy switches you can make in the bathroom to become more eco-friendly.
Image credit: Boris Baldinger