The 50th anniversary of Earth Day took place last month. Earth Day was created in 1970 to help protect the planet, and, at the time, millions of people took to the streets to raise awareness of environmental issues. Earth Day is now the largest civic event in the world. Experts and scientists come together to discuss important issues and make positive changes. Many environmental laws have been passed as a result of this incredible collaboration.
We have been told for some time that the leading cause of climate change is human activity. The main sources of the greenhouse gases responsible for altering our climate are animal agriculture, deforestation and burning fossil fuels. From the lifestyles we lead to the products we buy and the food we eat, we are damaging our beautiful home and putting ourselves at risk.
There is a strong relationship between the current pandemic we are facing and the environmental crisis. It is likely that COVID-19 originated from the wet markets in China, where live animals are sold and the chance of viruses spreading between species is increased. It is also said that frequent air travel, which helps the virus spread between countries, and air pollution, which affects people’s respiratory systems, are contributing factors to creating a global pandemic. As we can see, our activities are not only damaging the planet but are also affecting us.
Sadly, many people have died and life as we know it is on hold for the foreseeable future. While this has caused great disruption to our lives, the Earth has been recovering since we have been immobilised as a large proportion of human activity has stopped. Greenhouse gases have fallen considerably, and nature is being restored.
So do we want to return to “normal” or do we want to make positive changes to protect the planet and ourselves? As a lot of us are currently at home, we have the opportunity to think about our impact on the Earth and how we can help. We are all responsible for how we live our lives and can make a big difference through our actions.
Here are some ideas on how we can make better choices:
- Save energy at home and change to a green energy provider
- Fly less and take more holidays in the UK
- Buy locally produced fruit and vegetables
- Consume fewer animal products by adopting a plant-based diet
- Drive less and use public transport
- Recycle more and reduce waste
- Repair things rather than throw them away
- Buy second-hand clothes rather than new ones
These areas as well as others will be expanded on more in future articles in our journal. In support of Earth Day 2020 and all the amazing people who are working hard to create a better future, let’s do our bit!