On this Earth Day 2022, what can you do to make a real difference? There are some small but powerful actions that we can take to look after our world.
So, on this Earth Day 2022, what can you do?
We often look for those instant wins to say that we're on board. That we're doing our bit for the environment. Maybe it's replacing our plastic reusable water bottle for an all-singing all-dancing metal bottle, for example.
But sometimes the best change is no change at all. This seems contradictory but the best thing you could do on Earth Day is to make a pledge to buy nothing new where you can. It's all about thinking whether you actually need something before you buy it.
So in our reusable water bottle analogy, if your water bottle is serving you well, there's no need to change it. But of course, when it comes to replacing it, then see if you can find a second-hand metal bottle, or buy a responsibly sourced new one.
Buy less, buy better, buy preloved
But buying nothing new is especially effective when you're shopping for clothes.
It's quite a big gesture to make, and you'll want to include some exceptions. After all, you will need to occasionally buy new underwear, pyjamas, work uniforms etc.
And buying nothing new doesn't mean not buying anything at all. You can invest in second-hand, preloved, vintage and deadstock pieces if you need anything.
Sustainable Fashion on Earth Day
Sustainable fashion is now even listed as a main feature on the EarthDay.Org website.
Here are some Earth Day facts about the true extent of how fashion contributes to climate change:
- 100 billion items of clothing are made each year
- It takes 3,000 litres of water to make one T-Shirt
- 150 million trees are cut down each year for textile production
Even fast-fashion giants are creating so-called sustainable collections by using more planet-friendly materials. While it is great that huge brands like Primark are transitioning to more eco and people-friendly cotton, when it is produced on such a large scale the emissions are still enormous.
The issue is that we have far too many clothes and too much stuff in general. Before you start chucking anything out (!), part of the issue is that we throw perfectly usable items. Even the most worn clothing can either be recycled or used for rags for cleaning or dusting, for example.
We could all have a spring clean of our wardrobes. Most of us will have at least one item of clothing that we could probably part with. Maybe it's an unwanted gift. Maybe it doesn't fit anymore. No problem, but now it is vital to move it on.
So what else can you do on Earth Day 2022?
Of course there are lots of symbolic actions you can take. Maybe you'll quit social media for a day, or turn your power off, ditch the screens and enjoy a good walk etc.
Real change comes from how we act everyday, though. It isn't just not driving your car on Earth Day. Instead it's changing habits:
- Try more active travel - walk, bike, run to work once a week
- Or use more public transport
- Eat more plants & eat less meat
- Can you pledge not to fly?
- Holiday at home
- Get to know your local councillors and MPs and write to them regularly
If you need a few more pointers for changing your lifestyle for the benefit of people and planet, read our blog with 70 ideas here.