It’s Earth Day, and in previous years this may not have been a particularly important date in people's minds, but since damage plastic is causing to our planet has become mainstream knowledge - this Earth Day is the most important yet.
What difference can a day make?
A video on The Dodo this morning revealed that every minute, one tonne of plastic waste is added to the ocean. A minute, let alone a day, makes a world of difference. Today we urge you to act in the interest of the planet, and if you’re feeling lost how you can make a change today: here are some ways how.
1) Refuse single-use plastic
Plastic bags, plastic takeaway cups, plastic straws. They are used for a few minutes and last a lifetime, hugely damaging the environment and the animals within it. The benefits really don’t outweigh the costs. Today - take a tote bag to the supermarket, take a reusable cup to a cafe, and refuse plastic straws. Beyond today, habits like these save so much plastic waste and reduce your personal environmental impact no end. Single-use plastic is unnecessary and if it is continually refused by everyone, real change will happen.
4) Watch a nature documentary
To remind yourself (or realise) why we should give the planet some love today. If you don’t see why all these steps are so important, educate yourself with the many online sources out there. David Attenboroughs Blue Planet hit the realisation home for many people, and another recent documentary explains the problem further, A Plastic Ocean. Often, especially in the UK, the reality of what happens to our waste is hidden from view. But documentaries like these reveal the true effects of our devastating consumerist culture.
2) Turn off all your electricity for an hour
It’s rare sometimes that people connect with each other away from screens, the internet and electronic distractions. Earth hour was organised by the WWF in March, but we can host this again tonight from 8.30 to 9.30 pm. Everyone should take the opportunity to switch off their TVs, lights, phones, wifi (shocking I know), just to enjoy each others company or the enjoyment of activities unreliant on electricity. Light some candles, write a quiz for your friends or family, go for a walk or play football outside - its earth day and the earth is for everyone to enjoy - not abuse. Reading, writing, playing games, guitar, sport, yoga, drinking, smoking weed... there’s a whole range of things to do that don’t rely on electricity - so explore them, and hopefully get some ideas of more permanent evening activities to get involved in.
3) Have a zero waste dinner
Plastic is a huge problem as it can never break down in the same way glass or paper can, even with the best recycling methods, meaning it eventually ends up in landfill. Therefore, using plastic is not what is being coined ‘zero waste’ - a way of living where waste is reduced if not eradicated completely by only consuming products in no packaging or completely recyclable packaging like card or aluminium cans, as well as reducing water and electrics to the minimum. Zero waste seems hard to achieve since so much of our food comes in plastic packaging, but it is achievable, as many YouTubers can prove such as Lizzie Bombini.
Readily available zero waste ingredients (available in most supermarkets)
Loose veg - supermarkets usually always have loose potatoes, carrots, bananas, tomatoes to weigh out yourself. Grab some of these and put them in your tote bag from earlier.
Loose bread rolls - supermarkets also often have bakery sections with unpackaged loaves of bread or singular bread rolls
Anything canned e.g. canned jackfruit, beans, chickpeas
Anything in glass e.g. olives, pickled anything, sauces
Anything in cardboard or paper e.g. arborio rice, red lentil pasta
Try and avoid plastic this dinner time and see what exciting food you can make!
Happy Earth Day - spread the love today.