Earth Day 2018: how can you make a difference?

Published: 21st April 2018

We are passionate about the health of our planet and we want to make a difference. Every little bit helps no matter how small. If you are not sure where to start (as it can be a little overwhelming) our 'War On Waste: One Toy At A Time' article can help give you some ideas and tips.  

What is Earth Day?

The world celebrates Earth Day on April 22 to mark the official anniversary of the first day of the environmental movement, which started back in 1970. It was the first time environmental issues were seen as newsworthy and given a priority when it came to giving a voice to this new, emerging consciousness and taking pride in being environmentally aware.  

Why did Earth Day start? 

The idea for a national day to pay attention to environmental concerns came after Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson decided to take action in the wake of the horrific oil spill in Santa Barbara, California in 1969. Nelson was then a US senator and he decided to force environmental protection onto the national political agenda. Nelson, along with a US Republican Congressman, Pete McCloskey, created a team of 85 people to promote environmental awareness, scheduled to take place every year on April 22. 

What does Earth Day actually mean? 

Earth Day is now the biggest secular observance in the world and more than a billion people mark Earth Day every year. It's a day of action that has the potential to change human behaviour and provoke policy changes.

As we all become more aware of the ravages of climate change, Earth Day is becoming more and more important. A huge focus of the day is the war on waste. When it comes to food, the average Australian household wastes over $3,800 in food every year; or $73 every week.  Also, when you think that this is just an average figure, there are likely to be households that throw away even more food than that! Also, the average person purchases 27kg of new clothing and textiles per year and, to make matters worse, we use five billion plastic bags each year, with 85 percent winding up in landfill or waterways.

In fact, our waste is growing at double the rate of the population. That’s 52 megatons of coffee cups, food waste, clothes, household items and more discarded each year – so hopefully these frightening statistics are enough to make you want to do something about your own waste.

What’s the theme of Earth Day 2018? 

This year, the theme is all about ending plastic pollution and changing human attitude and behaviour about plastics and starting a significant reduction in plastic pollution. 

Most of us are aware plastic is poisoning our oceans and land, injuring marine life, and also affecting our health. 

So how can you take action? 

You can sign the ‘End Plastic Pollution Petition’ and let global leaders know that the world can’t take much more plastic. If enough people get behind a global ban on single-use plastics, we can begin to heal our oceans, our wildlife and our children.

Also, follow Earth Day Network on social media, and follow their tips on taking small steps that will add up to big changes. Use their toolkit and calculator to reduce your own plastic waste, sign the petition, create and register an event and do whatever small things you can do to help. #EarthDay2018 is here! 

If we all make a commitment to reducing wastage, however small it might be, we’re going to eventually make a huge difference.

LJ x

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