Thursday 22nd of April 2021 officially marks Earth Day, and this year’s theme is “Restore Our Earth”, which will focus on natural processes and emerging green technologies that can restore the world’s ecosystems.
Topics covered include reforestation, climate literacy, citizen science and global clean-ups, with Earth Day being the impetus for more action throughout 2021.
Plant a tree
One of the ‘pillars’ of the Restore Our Earth theme is The Canopy Project, which aims to improve our shared environment by planting trees across the world, reforesting areas including some communities most at risk from climate change.
Earth Day’s organisers say that since the beginning of the 20th century, the world’s forests have lost about 20% of their coverage and, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, about 18 million acres of forest are lost every year, and roughly half of the Earth’s tropical forests have already been cleared.
Why does it matter?
Reforestation is vital because planting billions of trees across the world is one of the biggest and cheapest ways of taking CO2 out of the atmosphere to help tackle the climate crisis. Forests also provide a natural habitat for wildlife and help purify the air we breathe and regulate local temperatures.
In line with ihometrade.com’s core values, 360° virtual viewings are better for the environment, as they reduce the number of prospective buyers or renters who will drive to view a property, cutting unnecessary CO2 emissions.
The company has offset 26.5 tonnes of carbon – equivalent to 65,747 miles driven in a car – and has planted 400 trees in its forest since its launch. So, taking out a package with ihometrade.com will lead to more trees being planted.
Recycle more waste
One of the daily steps you can take is to be more efficient about recycling waste at home.
A report by market analyst Statista published in March 2021 found that the recycling rate of waste from households in England was 45.5% in 2019 – the latest figures available. Since the 2010/2011 financial year, the recycling rate of waste from households has increased by roughly 8.6%, but it has slowed recently, rising by just 1.8% since 2015.
Statista cites one of the problems being that not all local authorities collect plastic film – that’s despite plastic making up 8.5% of dry recycling waste for households in England. And as recently as 2017, just 18% of local authorities in England collected plastic film.
So, the message is we all need to do more to recycle our household waste – if local authorities don’t offer to recycle all our household waste, then we need to take them to the recycling centre ourselves.
We also need to reduce the amount of plastic we’re using, re-using our own drinking bottles avoiding single-use plastic and choosing fruit and veg that is not packaged in layers of plastic.
Help scientific research
The Global Earth Challenge was launched last year – a global citizen science database, it continues help scientists advance environmental research – for example, on plastic pollution and air quality.
It is currently trying to understand how insect populations, such as bees, are changing. All you need is a smartphone and app to collect data on bees or support research on air quality, plastics, and food security. For more information on how to get involved, visit https://globalearthchallenge.earthday.org.
Clean up your community
Another pillar of Earth Day 2021 is the Great Global Clean-up. You can start by cleaning up on your own – picking up cigarette butts – another source of plastic pollution – cleaning up your favourite hiking trail and cleaning up your home, removing single-use items.
Alternatively, you can organise a group with a team of friends, family, or neighbours and clean up a run-down garden or park in your community.
And finally, discover the joy or ‘plogging’ – jogging while picking up litter. Use it to clean up your regular running route and to help your local community as part of your daily routine.
While Earth Day 2021 runs from 20 to 23 April 2021, the aims and ideals it encompasses should stay with us all every day. For details of events in the UK and beyond, visit https://www.earthday.org.