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Earth Day 2021

Updated Wednesday, 21st April 2021

The first Earth Day on 22 April 1970 activated 20 million people from all walks of life to do their bit to protect our planet. More than 50 years on, it is estimated that one billion people worldwide will engage in this year's Earth Day.

The theme this year is Restore our Earth, and a focus on natural processes, emerging green technologies and innovative thinking that can restore the Earth's ecosystems. Help make Earth Day happen where you are, by following these five simple actions towards living a more sustainable life.

Banner of vegetables with the words 'CHANGE YOUR DIET' Creative commons image Icon Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license 1) Change your diet

One of the best ways to help the environment is to reduce your intake of meat and dairy products. A person eating a 75g beef burger once a day, over the course of a year, will contribute 2,820kg of greenhouse gas emissions from these burgers alone. To put that into perspective, that is the equivalent of taking 8 return flights to Malaga a year or heating your home for 447 days (source).

By consuming more vegetables, grains and legumes, by eating in season and locally where possible, you not only help the environment and local businesses, you will be aiding animal welfare and living a healthier, more environmentally friendly lifestyle.

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Banner of material goods with the words 'Reduce, reuse, recycle' Creative commons image Icon Image by djedj from Pixabay under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license 2) Reduce, reuse and recycle

The golden rule to follow is reduce, reuse and recycle. Reduce your consumption by asking yourself if you really need something before you purchase it. Try to think of the longevity of that item and where it might end up in a few month's time; will it just become clutter to hoard or will it end up in a landfill?

It's desirable to purchase new material goods, but before purchasing something brand new, is there something you already have that could be reused? Could you borrow it from a friend instead, or see if there is anything available second-hand? Everything you buy second-hand is saving it from landfill.

Some items do have a shelf life. When that time comes, dispose of it as responsibly as possible, rather than just putting it into your bin by default. Whether it's passing on clothes to your local charity shop or taking your batteries to your supermarket to recycle; all of these efforts contribute to living more sustainably.

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Banner of material goods with the words 'Shop sustainably' Creative commons image Icon Image by Pexels from Pixabay under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license 3) Shop sustainably

If you must purchase something new, then choosing a sustainable option is the earth-positive choice.

Each time you put your money into a sustainable product, not only are you helping, but you are investing in the bigger picture, by telling corporations that there is a growing demand in sustainable products. This in turn encourages them to manufacture with sustainability in mind.

From clothing to your toothbrush and the food choices you make, your decisions matter everyday.

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Banner of aerial view of a highway with the words 'TRANSPORT' Creative commons image Icon Image by Pexels from Pixabay under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license 4) Transport

A huge contributor to carbon emissions worldwide, petrol cars equate to roughly 33% of C02 emissions in the United Kingdom alone (Source). Review your car usage to see if there's any way to reduce your trips. Maybe on some journeys, you could use public transport instead, or bike to work every once in a while. Car sharing is another fantastic way to reduce cars on the road. Not only is this a way to network and make friends, but you're also reducing carbon emissions and likely helping your colleagues by alleviating stress on your work car park.

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    Banner of a woman sitting on her sofa with a laptop, with the words 'WORK HABITS' Creative commons image Icon Image by free stock photos from www.picjumbo.com on Pixabay under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license 5) Work habits

    Sometimes, it's the daily small habits that really add up. These unnecessary practices, shared by the masses, could make a huge difference over the course of a year. A good example would be limiting your printing at work to essential files, or always switching your monitor and computer off instead of leaving it on standby.

    Another great way to reduce your carbon footprint is to regularly work from home. Not only are you reducing your car usage, but you are also saving on commuting and parking time, frequency of laundry loads as well as lunch or drink purchases; and what a great way to instil a better work-life balance into your lifestyle.

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