Happy Earth Day! Today, April 22nd, marks an annual celebration for our planet, and right now, it needs our help.
Sometimes it can feel overwhelming to try and tackle climate change. Where should you start? How can just one person be the change?
We get it – we’ve been there.
Instead of feeling hopeless, you can find hope in community. Together, with us all making small changes, we can really turn the tides on climate change. As influencers, we also have the power to inspire others to do the same. That shared enthusiasm is the spark that will light the flame of change.
From there, we take action, in our homes, our workplaces, and our communities. And we will work together to protect our earth, and our future generations.
So on this #EarthDay, we encourage you to do one (or more) of the following actions that only require you and your preferred internet device. Watch an 8-minute video, or join an hour-long Twitter chat. Make green switches in your home, or calculate your carbon footprint. Do whatever works for you, and know that all these small changes really do add up.
1. Watch this 8-minute video from Sir David Attenborough
Sir David Attenborough has been a symbol of the natural world for many years. In the last few years, his message has become even clearer: we must do something to protect our precious wildlife, and ensure the continuation of the human race.
This 8-minute video is, therefore, a must watch. He details how we must come together to save our planet, and that it’s all possible before the turn of the century.
2. Calculate your carbon footprint
A carbon footprint is the total amount of carbon emissions you create each year.
No matter how conscious you are, or how little an impact you try to make, we all have a carbon footprint. As I explained on my blog:
“Carbon emissions are carbon dioxide waste that is released into the atmosphere as a gas. They can also be called greenhouse gas emissions, referring to the gases that get trapped in the Earth’s atmosphere and heat up the planet as a result. They are caused by the burning of fossil fuels, including oil, coal, and natural gas.”
The first step in reducing this even further is to work out how you are making carbon emissions. Use Spark Sustainability’s Carbon Emissions Calculator to work out how many kilograms of carbon emissions you make each year – the average is 12,000kg – and see if you can identify ways to reduce that
3. Research low-impact recipes
While food sustainability is still very much focused around agriculture, we can all do our bit to reduce its impact even further.
The rearing of animals is an incredibly impactful industry – today, humans and animals reared for food count for 96% of the mass of mammals, and 70% of the birds on Earth. Yikes.
If you eat meat, try to reduce how much you eat each week. A vegan diet is the least impactful in terms of carbon emissions. Why not try these vegan recipes from Ethical Influencers to get started?
And if you’re a big plant-eater, try to source your food locally. It reduces the amount of travelling your food has done from the farm to your plate, and if you also eat seasonably, you’ll find your fruit and veggies to be more nutritious and tasty too!
4. Switch to renewable energy
How do you power your home? Almost all of us rely on electricity, and we can all support the movement into renewable energy by switching to a renewable energy provider.
(If you’re vegan, Ecotricity may be best for you – they do not use any animal waste as biofuel, whereas the others do.)
Due to UK Government subsidies, these smaller energy providers can also provide their services at the same cost as larger energy suppliers.
5. Plan a lower-impact commute
Another way we can look after the planet is to reduce fossil-fuelled travel. Not only do fossil fuels create carbon emissions, they acidify our oceans and pollute our air.
Flights are the most polluting, so if you can, try to limit these.
For driving a car – changing to a hybrid or an electric car is the best option. If you have a car that runs on petrol or diesel, reduce how much you drive. Could you walk or cycle to work? And if not for the whole commute, what about for a portion of it?
Try planning a low-impact commute on Google Maps by using the cycle or walk planners.
6. Unsubscribe from newsletters
(Not ours, obviously!) If you receive a lot of shopping newsletters, it may be worth hitting the unsubscribe button.
How does this help the Earth? You’ll be less tempted to shop, reducing your consumption and overall impact.
Even better, you’ll feel less pressure to keep up with trends, and can start to focus on what you truly need or want.
7. Find out who represents you politically
Climate change is something we need our political representatives to prioritise. While groups like Extinction Rebellion are taking extreme yet non-violent measures to draw attention to this, we can all do our bit by finding out who our individual representatives are, and asking them what they’re doing to help.
To start with, find out who your local political representative is, i.e. MP or Governor. Alongside their name and details, you should also be able to easily find out their policies and their point of view on climate change, as well as what they are doing to look after our Earth.
Remember: These are the people who talk on your behalf – if they are saying something you disagree with, make sure you contact them directly. Many will have open office sessions, email addresses, or Twitter accounts.
“You put in your postcode, and they tell you which politicians represent you at every level. You can use the service to send them an email. Here’s the link: https://www.writetothem.com/”
If you’re in the UK, you can also get involved with the Department of Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs in their Year of Green Action.
8. Get involved with #EthicalHour
Talking about Twitter… We recommend taking part in #EthicalHour, the world’s largest Twitter chat for ethical and sustainable changemakers.
Held at 8pm GMT every Monday, the chat is led by an expert in a particular field – it could be anything from coffee, clothes, or charity – where thought-provoking questions are asked and responses from the community are gathered.
During the chats, you can connect with fellow Twitter users, businesses and influencers alike. And it’s always a blast!
9. Join Ethical Influencers
And finally, if you’d like to be part of a community all taking similar actions to save our planet, join us!
Ethical Influencers is a community for individuals online who are inspiring positive change. You may have just bought a reusable water bottle, or you may be an expert in your field – whoever you are, you’re welcome to join!
Our aim is to connect people doing good – we have 300+ members in over 32 countries around the world, who are part of our Facebook Group, come along to our Events, and together we produce ethical media that raises awareness and inspires action.
Membership is 100% free, and always will be. Join us right here – we can’t wait to connect with you!