The Great Global Cleanup. Courtesy of Earthday.org, 2022.
Tomorrow is Earth Day, the world’s largest day of action to protect our precious planet. For the past 50 years every year billions of people around the world have joined in promoting awareness about the health of our environment. Today our planet is continuing to be negatively impacted by the way in which we live, climate change is happening and it's happening quickly. Across the globe scientists, politicians and activists are working hard to tackle these issues. However, action is needed from everyone if we are to make a true impact, and create a more sustainable future for our planet (National Today, 2022).
This year's Earth Day theme, Invest in our Planet, calls for everyone to deeply consider their contribution to the health of our earth. It is a time to change the business climate, political climate, and how we take action on climate. As outlined on the official Earth Day website (2022) “For Earth Day 2022, we need to act (boldly), innovate (broadly), and implement (equitably). It’s going to take all of us. All in. Businesses, governments, and citizens.” Through investing in our planet we are creating a green and prosperous future for the next generations (Earth Day, 2022).
For those of us living in Queensland and New South Wales, recent extreme weather events have brought climate change to the forefront of our minds. The floods were devastating, with many people losing their homes and businesses. Each weather event is getting more extreme than the last, whether it be floods, drought or bushfires. It is these kinds of events that show us first hand the devastating effects of climate change (Healthy Land & Water, 2022).
Earth Day. Image by Elen_Art, courtesy of Pixabay, 2022.
While the problems we face are huge and can feel quite overwhelming, there are many small actions we can all take that will help create a healthier planet (Earth Day, 2022). Here’s four everyday things you can do today to make difference:
- Use the internet not trees - there’s no need to print things when you can email documents and view them on your computer or tablet.
- Switch to reusable bags - a super simple way of reducing throw away soft plastics.
- Use a reusable water bottle - despite plastic water bottles being recyclable it still takes energy and resources to recycle them.
- Turn lights off when not in use - makes a huge difference on the amount of power you use, and has the bonus benefit that your account will thank you.
If you would like to get further involved in the action, Earthday.org runs a number of ongoing community initiatives you can get involved in:
Join the Great Global Cleanup - This worldwide campaign helps remove billions of pieces of trash from neighbourhoods, beaches, rivers, lakes, trails and parks - reducing waste and plastic pollution, improving habitats and preventing harm to native wildlife. To register and learn more click here.
Plant a forest with the Canopy Project - Forests are one of our most powerful tools to combat climate change and provide food and habitat for the species of the world. Our planet is currently losing forests at a staggering rate - more than 18 million acres of forests every year! Make your contribution and plant a tree here.
Become a citizen scientist - Use the Global Earth Challenge app to help gather critical environmental data near you. The app is the world’s largest citizen science effort, available on Android and iOS devices. Currently there are two elements you can measure, air purity and plastic pollution - with more features coming soon. Find the app on Google Play or the Apple Store.
Earth Day provides a time for everyone, including us here at Yarn to reflect upon our impact on the planet. Through working with First Nations artists and communities we are very aware of Indigenous people’s close connection to Country. “Healthy Country, Healthy People'' is a phrase that perfectly embodies this reciprocal relationship. It is not just environmental benefits that come from this partnership: health and well-being, culture and economics can all be positively influenced as well. It is these principles that can be taken on today, to invest in a bright future for our planet.
If you’d like to learn more about Yarn's environmental initiatives check out our previous article Our Sustainability Mission.