50 Eco-Friendly Tips For 50 Years Of Earth Day
It’s April 22nd 2020 and also the 50th anniversary of the environmental movement “Earth Day”. Starting its support for environmental protection in 1970, today Earth Day is celebrated in more than 193 countries, all making conscious decisions on how we can reduce our environmental impact to the planet. If you are also someone looking for ways of becoming more conscious and environmentally aware then take a look at my eco-friendly tips for earth day.
Since Lockdown began in the UK we have heard amazing stories in world news, on how the earth is beginning to heal its self. With airlines grounded and less cars on our roads air pollution is improving. China’s carbon emissions have fallen 25 per cent. We have seen stunning images of Venice’s canals never looking so blue and for once locals are beginning to enjoy the natural beauty of their own countries due to the lack of tourism. Also, the support and co-operation that has unified communities in this crisis. So maybe there is some good that has come from Covid-19.
I am sitting here in my workspace/spare bedroom with the sun shining through my window here in Norwich wondering, how can we make eco-friendly changes in our everyday lives during and after this pandemic?
So I have put together a list of easy to do, eco-friendly changes that many of you may already be implementing or putting into practice already, but hopefully there will be a few that will help you along your way.
Reducing Food Waste
- Chop, portion and freeze food items that look as if they might be turning past their best.
- Only stock up on dried foods and long life foods such as grains, dried beans and tinned goods.
- Use Olio app to give unwanted food items or sell by date foods to people in need. (Olio is still active during Covid-19 with social distancing in place)
- Donate excess to food banks (The homeless and the vulnerable are still in need)
- Eat all your greens, yellows and reds. Don’t waste the tops and ends of vegetables such as beet tops, carrot tops, courgette flowers, turnip greens, celery tops and radish tops. They are delicious and many of them can be used for pesto.
- Use soft or browned fruit for baking or smoothies. The secret to a perfect banana bread or cake is using overripe bananas.
- Regrow your vegetables – you can regrow so many vegetables such as lettuces, pak choy, spring onions, carrot tops, garlic, celery, leeks and much more by placing in water by the window so it can have sunlight.
- Use onion skins and vegetable ends to make a homemade stock.
- Keep coffee grounds, they can be used as fertiliser or even as a mosquito repellent but if you mix coffee grounds with sugar and olive oil you have a perfect body scrub.
- Use pumpkin or squash seeds for snacks by toasting with olive oil and salt.
- Pickle and ferment to make food last longer.
- You can use egg shells to feed back to hens or in dog food as it helps with their digestion. They can also be used to grow seeds in.
- For all other food waste compost it!
Avoid Single Use Plastic
- Invest in a good water bottle – I know most of you have already probably done this one but has your bottle got a micro purification filter? I recently invested in a water bottle from Drinksafe-Systems that make water filters to help third world countries from viruses and chemicals. Not only are you investing in a great company but this means you never need to buy water bottles ever again, even on holidays! Not an ad, by the way. I just really like them.
- Bring your own bags when grocery shopping or use a Kōzo Design tote!
- Get in the habit of carrying your own re-usable coffee cup.
- Carry your own utensils and drinking straw.
- Make homemade sodas if you love fizzy drinks.
- Shop from farmers markets to avoid plastic wrapping.
- Use re-fill stations and shops and bring old glass jars to refill.
- Go bagless on home deliveries.
- Buy bread from bakeries that use paper bags or make your own.
- Use homemade cleaning products. Baking soda, lemon and vinegar works wonders.
- Buy natural rubber gloves.
- Use 100 per cent cotton dish clothes that you can wash and reuse. When they need to be thrown away they will still be less harmful on the environment.
- Either make your own or buy locally made soaps to avoid plastic bottled shower gels and hand washes.
- Use a bamboo toothbrush and powder toothpaste.
- Ladies! Use 100 per cent organic cotton tampons, it’s not just great for the planet but they are also bleach free!
- Use vegan or beeswax wraps instead of clingfilm.
- Buy groceries from local farm shops, independent food grocers, farmers markets and local fruit and veg home deliveries.
- Support local makers by going to makers markets, following them on social media and buying from their shops.
- Buy second hand goods from charity shops, bric a brac, vintage shops, car boots, Freecycle, Gumtree or even Depop.
- Buy less, choose well and make it last – the fine words of Vivienne westward which makes perfect sense to all shopping.
- Purchase products that will last for years and not just weeks or months.
- Learn to sew or use a local tailor. Did you know that the latest must have right now for males and females is custom repairs, embroidery and sashiko on your favourite clothing!
- Support companies that have ethical practices.
- Purchase from organisations that give back to charities or the enviroment.
- Buy products with a warranty or guarantee.
- Buy biodegradable products.
Wash you clothing at 30 degres and use eco friendly laundry liquid or even make it yourself. (you can also re-fill all cleaning products at local re-source shops)
- Have your windows sealed properly as well as insulation.
- Air dry your clothes and opt out of using a tumble dryer.
- Move over to LED lightbulbs.
- Change to a greener energy supplier.
- Cut down on your energy usage at home.
- Leave you car at home and use you legs instead or even ride a bike.
- Eat less meat. More than 30 per cent of the earths surface is being used for livestock and generates 65 per cent of human related nitrous oxide, which has 296 times the GMP of CO2.
- Recycle what you can!
- Go paperless. Banks and shops are now offering paperless options. receipts are now available via email.
- Share with friends and family. Obviously this one is to be implemented when the world is a safer place and social distancing is no longer an issue.
Well that is it folks, hopefully you have picked up on some helpful tips that will encurage you to make a diffrence for our planet. Rememeber every little change makes a huge difference!
If you get a moment please visit earthday.org and watch Earth day goes digital, tune in for live messages, performances and call for action from Zac Efron, Dr. Sylvia Earle, Van Jones, Aloe Blacc, Christiana Figueres, Al Gore, Licypriya Kangujam, Paul Nicklen, Nahko, Arizona Muse and much more.
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