Our planet needs your help, and today’s the best day to make a difference. We’ve put together some super easy ways you can make a positive impact, live sustainably and help celebrate our planet for Earth Day.

What is Earth Day?

Each year on April 22nd, people around the world celebrate Earth Day, an event that highlights the importance of caring for the planet and supporting environmental conservation and restoration efforts. It’s also a chance to honour the achievements of individuals, communities and organisations that contributing to meaningful change, through environmental advocacy and action.

The main mission of Earth Day is to raise awareness of the existential issues facing the planet, including climate change, resource scarcity and pollution. Through public education, a network of partners and international events, people across the planet have been exploring ways to avert these crises, finding ways to reduce carbon emissions, increase recycling and integrate renewable energy and sustainability initiatives into daily life.

The founding of the Environmental Protection Agency was directly related to the successful reception of the first Earth Day in 1970.

The Earth Day Organisation (EDO) helps coordinate events all around the world, ranging from rallies to local clean ups, education, tree planting and more. First held in 1970, Earth Day has continued to grow over the last five decades, and as of 2023 there are now over 75,000 partners of the EDO across 192 countries, along with 1 billion individuals who participated in activities last year. Fun fact, the founding of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was directly related to the successful reception of the first Earth Day, which convinced the government of the need to make environmental conservation a priority.

Why should you care?

The Earth needs our help more than ever. Increased production of consumer goods, continued reliance on fossil fuels and spikes in global transportation have led to growing issues around environmental degradation. Plastic polution, e-waste and greenhouse gas emissions are all wreaking havoc on our planet.

Without our intervention, the planet is set to experience long-lasting and irreversible damage to its ecosystems. We are not immune to the effects of a warming planet either.

Add in the fact that we are close to missing the 1.5 degree global warming window, are overfishing our oceans, cannibalising the land with factory farms and overlogging our rainforests and it becomes easy to see why something needs to be done to reverse these trends.

Without our intervention, the planet is set to experience long-lasting and irreversible damage to its ecosystems, putting the survival of humans, and many other creatures, at great risk. Earth’s wildlife have been ravaged due to the ongoing impact of climate change, and we are not immune to the effects of a warming planet either.

The good news is that we don’t have to wait for someone else to do something about it. Annual conferences that meet to discuss environmental policy and participation from governments is vital, but it is the sustained and regular actions of everyday people that will help deliver lasting positive impact. There are plenty of ways that we can all start giving back to the planet that has given us so much, and it doesn’t have to cost the earth either.

How you can do something for the planet

This year’s theme, ‘Invest In Our Planet‘, is a continuation of the mission of Earth Day 2022, which centered on supporting sustainable industries, reducing the impact of carbon emissions, cleaning up polution and advocating for change. There are several official programs that you can participate in to further these initiatives, including the following that are official listed by the EDO:

Education: Sign the Open Letter for climate literacy. This is a letter to the COP28 executors and responsible ministers to help fund and implement environmental education for youth, children and adults.

Restoration: Support the Canopy Project to help plant trees across the globe. The Canopy Project plants trees in areas marked for reforestation, those at-risk for environmental degredation or ravaged by disasters.

Sustainability: Sign the petition to stop fast fashion. Textile waste is a massive contributor to global polution, and this petition seeks to encourage the U.S administration to enact legislation that would halt the ecologically damaging practices of the fashion industry.

Clean-up: Join one of the many global cleanup activities and sign the petition that asks world governments to introduce treaties that bans plastic pollution and prevents these materials from entering our rivers and oceans.

The official Earth Day site also has a bunch of ways you can get involved and make a meaningful difference today (and into the future). Check out their handy toolkit, throw your support behind the Earth Bill or find a nearby event that you can join.

View of Earth from space.
View of Earth from space. Source: Pixabay.

Support companies making a difference

ZeroCo make eco-friendly home cleaning and personal care items that come in sustainable bottles made from ocean, beach and landfill materials. Fill-up with a reusable pouch to keep the sustainable vibes going.

Fifteen Trees plant, you guessed it, trees! The company helps individuals and organisations reduce their carbon emission impact and revegetate natural habitats.

Sassy Organics stock a huge range of eco-friendly and cruelty-free health and beauty goods. They’re celebrating Earth Day with 10% off over 500 plastic-free products.

La Ria Creations produces elegant art and sustainable stationary, tote bags and more. All products are shipped in low impact packaging, and a percentage of each sale is donated to restorative tree-planting services.

Upcycle Studio specialises in home goods made from recycled materials – ingeniously ‘upcycled’ products that are well made and kind to the environment.

Zero Waste Store is packed with home and personal care items to help you avoid unnecessary packaging, plastic and unsustainable ingredients.

One Tree Planted is a non-profit organisation that helps to restore forests and rebuild communities after environmental disasters through their international projects.

And if you are looking for even more tips on how to live a more sustainable lifestyle, checkout these eco-friendly blogs. Here you’ll learn all about going zero-waste, plastic free and explore healthy eating choices that are better for the planet; A Considered Life, Minimalist Vegan, Almost Zero Waste, Greenify Me and Sustainable Jungle.