Every year on April 22, Earth Day marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. Celebrated by more than a billion people, it aims to raise awareness of the worldwide importance of long-term ecological sustainability.
This year the organizers are asking people what will they do to invest In our planet.
Tessa Clarke, CEO and co-founder of community sharing app OLIO is here to help with 24 simple planet-friendly ideas we can put into action in 24 hours to help protect the environment.
“I’d encourage people to use Earth Day to make some small and simple changes to their daily routine. With some planning, you’d be surprised at the difference these can make, both personally and to our planet,” says Clarke.
06:00HRS – 12:00HRS
one. Cut your shower time: Choose a song for the shower and aim to be in and out by the time the song finishes! The briefer the song, the more water you will save. Every minute of shower time equates to 2 gallons of water, so reducing the time you wash for can make a huge difference, so make sure you don’t choose Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody!
2nd. Ditch your plastic toothbrush: opt for a bamboo toothbrush instead. This one simple swap instantly cuts down on the amount of plastic you use on a daily basis.
3. Rethink your beauty regime: you can still make sure you’re glowing from head to toe – but in a planet-friendly way. Look for all the basics like cleanser, toner and moisturiser, in glass jars or metal tins instead of plastic. Loads of amazing brands use glass now!
4. Make time for coffee: set your alarm 5 or 10 minutes early so you can hop out of bed and make your coffee at home, rather than buying it out. Investing in a reusable coffee cup will share dividends in the long run. Or, if you just can’t resist visiting your local barista, make sure to take your cup with you to avoid unnecessary paper and plastic waste.
5. Switch up your commute: instead of hopping in the car to work and guzzling a load of oil, why not try running, walking or cycling instead? Or, see if any of your colleagues fancy carpooling.
6. Feeling peckish: if you’re ready for a mid-morning snack, why not reach for some homemade goodies instead of shop bought? You can easily whip up some delicious energy balls or granola bars and wrap them in reusable beeswax paper. The best bit? No plastic wrapping!
7. Maximise your lunch break: How about using your lunch break to plan your summer holiday? Make sure to stay grounded and travel by train if possible.
13:00HRS – 17:00HRS
one. A homemade lunch: in our opinion, homemade always tastes best! Plus you can use up what you have in your fridge so nothing goes to waste, and make sure you have the perfect portion sizes so you don’t end up with leftovers.
2nd. Plan for the weekend: have a think about what you want to do at the weekend. Perhaps some DIY home improvements? Make homemade cake? Trying out a new sport? Have a look at the OLIO BORROW platform to see what items you can borrow locally to help turn your plans into a reality. A new drill? No problem! A brilliant cake maker? It’s yours!
3. A walk with a difference: It’s good to get away from your desk for a walk – why not make it extra special by initiating a group stroll with friends or colleagues, collecting litter as you go? It’ll make you feel amazing and it’s great for the environment
4. Treat your co-workers: Sometimes it’s good to do a recce of your kitchen cupboards and see what needs using up. Put that half a bag of flour and jar of sugar to good use – whip up a batch of cookies to share with your coworkers – it’s guaranteed to put a smile on everyone’s face.
5. Stop off for shopping: visit a grocery store that allows you to take in your own jars and containers to fill up with delicious goodies, rather than buying pre-packaged items. There are so many around these days and a quick Google will find your nearest one.
6. Got some time for some personal admin? Move your money. Your pension might not be the first thing on your mind when it comes to fixing the climate crisis, but it really should be. Moving our pensions into green funds could be just the superpower we need in fighting the climate crisis.
18:00HRS – 23:00HRS
one. Embrace the batch: batch-cooking is one of the best and easiest ways to reduce food waste. You can use up lots of ingredients from around the kitchen, enjoy as your evening meal and the portion up the rest into reusable containers to eat throughout the week. Plus, it means WAY less washing up! Make even more impact by making this meal meat-free.
2nd. Fridge inventory: after your batch cook, it’s time for a quick inventory of your fridge. What are you unlikely to use over the next few days? Make sure you list anything you won’t get round to eating on OLIO so that someone else can make use of it instead.
3. Spring clean: Earth Day also coins with the start of a new season, so we love to plan a good spring clean. Did you know that lots of common cleaning products are actually pretty harmful to the environment? Why not try making your own with a simple solution of baking soda, vinegar and lemon juice – it’s so quick and easy, and it gets the job done.
4. Make a pledge: loving Earth Day so far? Then make a commitment to celebrate Earth Day every year from now on. You can set up a whole host of pledges via the OLIO GOALS platform – it’s amazing how much more determined you are to stick to your goals once you say them out loud or write them down.
5. Consider completing an application to become a Food Waste Hero and save surplus food from businesses to distribute in your community. OLIO volunteers cite that they feel a great sense of community, and it helps them save money on their food bills.
6. Switch your energy bill before bedtime. If it’s been on your to-do list for a while, let’s make Earth Day the day you *finally* quit dirty energy and switch to a green energy provider instead! It surprisingly quick to do, and sites such as The Big Clean Switch or Green Energy Switch can be a great place to start.
00:00HRS – 06:00HRS:
Saving the planet whilst you’re asleep sounds pretty cool, right? And believe it or not, it is actually possible! Try some of these top hacks and you’ll have the best night sleep ever…
one. Overnight oats: one of the quickest, easiest and most delicious breakfasts ever! Simply stick all your ingredients in a mason jar and then hop into bed whilst the magic happens. In the morning, your breakfast is ready to go using zero nasty plastic!
2nd. Check your plugs: it might sound obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many energy-guzzling things you leave switched on overnight (TV, check! Washing machine, check! Laptop charger, check!). Do a quick check of the house before bed and watch your energy usage fall.
3. Turn off the tumble dryer: yes it’s quick and convenient but it uses A LOT of energy. Instead, dry your clothes on a drying rack overnight – it’ll cost you and the planet nothing.
4. Be smart about flushing: if you have to make a trip or two to the toilet during the night, think about whether you really need to use the flush each time. It uses a lot of water, not to mention it wakes everyone up! If you don’t need to, don’t bother.
5. Go easy on the AC or heating: both air con and heating uses lots of energy. Try shedding some layers in the summer, or layering up in the winter rather than instantly reaching for the ‘ON’ switch.
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