This year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and the Earth Day Network is partnering with 50,000 organizations in 190 countries to make this Earth Day the biggest and most impactful event yet in an attempt to reignite the environmental movement.
The first Earth Day was held in 1970 and is credited with launching the modern environmental movement. Earth Day is now recognized as the world’s largest civic event and has helped pass laws such as the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act. Unfortunately, despite Earth Day’s many successes, progress has slowed and we continue to face ever more dire climate consequences and global threats. Here are ways, both large and small, that you can help make a positive impact.
Make an effort to stop using single-use plastic. Keep reusable grocery bags in your car so they’re always on hand whenever to stop by the store. Bring refillable water bottles to work and school; many drinking fountains now have water bottle fillers as well. Bringing mugs to coffee shops not only helps the environment but also usually gets you a discount. Refusing plastic straws and either not using one or bringing your own reusable one is simple but makes a huge difference. Use reusable plastic containers to store food and bring reusable cloth bags for produce to the grocery store. Many of these you may have heard before, but plastic doesn’t break down and many of these steps are easily ingrained as habits. Making the effort keeps a lot of junk out of the landfills. The Earth Day Network has End Plastic Pollution Toolkits that are worth taking a look at.
Other simple steps are turning off the lights when you leave the room, or even using fewer lights in the room you’re in and reducing your shower time. Much of our world is experiencing water shortages, but it’s easy to forget in the comfort of the bath. Using reef-safe sunscreen, such as BRUSH ON BLOCK® SPF 30, helps cut down on the chemicals we unwittingly put into our oceans.
Volunteer! The Great Global Cleanup, first launched for Earth Day 2019, will be scaled up to create the largest coordinated environmental volunteer event in history. But you don’t need an event or special coordinated day to pick up litter you see around your neighborhood. The Earth Day Network will also be planting, with partners and volunteers, 7.8 billion trees, one for each human expected to be alive in 2020.
And finally, help raise awareness. Encourage your coworkers to bring reusable plastics and your children to take shorter showers. Be conscious of how much you throw away and help others be aware too. It doesn’t take much, but if everyone does something small, it will create a huge impact.