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Happy Earth Day

Earth Day is an annual event that takes place on the 22nd of April to demonstrate support for environmental protection. The first Earth Day was held on the 22nd of April 1970, it is now globally recognised in more than 193 countries and is celebrated by over 1 billion people. 

Earth Day was inspired by Senator Nelson from Wisconsin, who was worried that environmental issues were not being addressed in the political space. This is especially after he witnessed the aftermath of a California oil spill in 1969. The Senator purposefully suggested the 22nd of April since it falls between Spring Break and final exams in the hopes of encouraging college students to participate. According to the environmental advocacy group, Earth Day Network Group, 20 million USA citizens showed support for Earth Day and it was soon declared into existence. Senator Nelson’s proposal helped inspire the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species acts.

In 1990, Earth Day spread globally. The demonstration mobilized 200 million people in 141 countries. It brought huge attention to environmental issues such as recycling. It continues to spread globally, it’s known as “International Mother Earth Day” around the world. Earth Day includes a wide range of events coordinated globally by EarthDay.org. This year commemorates the 52nd anniversary of Earth Day. If you are looking to partake, but are not sure how, we’ve listed a few ways of how you can show your support for environmental protection. 

Reduce, reuse, and recycle 

It’s imperative to follow the “3 R’s”; reduce, reuse and recycle. Reduce what you throw away. Reuse non-biodegradable product such as containers and plastic bags. Recycle products such as plastic/glass bottles and newspapers. The “3 R’s” help conserve natural resources and landfill space. 

Volunteer 

Get involved in your local clean-up community programs. Most organisations are in desperate need for volunteers and require all the help that they can get. You can simply research to see which programs interest you and are dearest to you heart.  

Educate

Most people are still not aware that the 22nd of April is Earth Day. It’s important to educate those around us about its existence and importance. We need to help our friends, family and colleagues understand the importance and value of our natural resources.

Conserve water

Water is still one of our most wasted natural resources. We can conserve water by breaking some of our bad habits such as taking long showers, brushing our teeth while the water is running, and using the toilet as wastebasket. Be more conscious of your own personal usage and wastage. 

Choose sustainable ways 

Everything you do impacts the environment. This ranges from the products you use, the food you eat and the car you drive. Consider using as less paper as possible, you can use a laptop or cell phone notepad instead of a paper notebook, you can use an online diary instead of an actual diary book. You can also consider eating less meat. Meat producers are one of the biggest contributors to the pollution of landscapes and waterways as well as climate change.

Shop wisely

Vote with your money! Only purchase products that are environmentally friendly. Make an effort in sourcing biodegradable, organic products as well as local products or services in order to reduce your carbon footprints.    

Use less electricity 

You can also reduce the amount of electricity that you use. You can start by switching your lights off when you leave the house or room. You can also opt for Energy efficient light bulbs as they reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

Plant a tree

Trees are essential to the planet they provide humans and animals with oxygen. They also provide us with food, help save energy, purify the air, and help combat climate change.

Stop using toxic chemicals 

Apart from natural products being much safer and healthier for your family, toxic chemicals may pollute rivers and streams and often take a long time to degrade into harmless products. Some detergents contain harmful products such as phosphates which can cause eutrophication, disturbing the balance of nutrients in streams and rivers. It’s highly recommended that you choose non-toxic chemicals for your household and workplace.

Choose your mode of transportation wisely

Avoid using your car when it’s not necessary, take a walk to the shop or ride a bicycle to work. Carpooling and using public transport is another good way to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

These are just a few things you can do to commemorate Earth Day and demonstrate support for environmental protection. Although doing all of this is selfless thoughtful gesture for the day, it’s important to remember that it takes consistent dedication to truly make an impact. Everyday should be Earth Day! If you are looking to make an impact for decades to come you should consider planting a tree. In the words of Warren Buffet, “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” Visit www.justtrees.co.za to make your purchase today. 

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