Earth day is an internationally observed holiday, falling on April 22nd annually, dating back from the 1970’s. It’s purpose is to spread awareness of ecological issues such as global warming, deforestation, pollution, single-use plastic etcetera, but also to provide solutions on local, national and international level. Such solutions are as simple as reducing plastic and styrofoam consumption in a household, business, church or school, starting a compost bin and turning off the water faucet and lights when not in use! But this earth day, many organisations such as EarthDay.org want to make it official that this year, the theme is plastic pollution: How it’s impacting the environment, how its impacting us and what we can do to stop it! This article is a list of ways we can spread awareness, actions we can take to tackle the problem, and international solutions that need to be solved on a governmental level.
Spreading awareness is key to building a community of people who care about the health of our planet, and who wish to take action to reduce plastic pollution. Such can be done via social media, by means of blogging on the internet, or by telling all your friends, family and neighbours about it in person! While it isn’t that difficult, and you only have to dedicate a few minutes to doing so, its vital to making this earth day different from others! Many Instagram post using the #BreakFreeFromPlastic consist of taking a picture of ridiculous amounts of useless plastic used to wrap produce or merchandise, while this might seem like a joke or “just another social media challenge” it is a very efficient (and comical) way of spreading awareness of the topic and making people realise that single-use plastic, is ridiculous, and harmful for our planet.
If you want to make even more of an impact, follow theses steps and try out some of these challenges to reduce your single-use plastic consumption and inspire others to do the same. The first challengeI propose is called Refuse The Straw, organised by the Don’t Suck Project, a Facebook group dedicated to end plastic pollution. When you are out in a restaurant, a bar, café or even a drive-thru, order your drinks without a straw, be very firm about your decision to refuse a plastic straw, and explain to your friends, family and even the curious waiters why you are against the use of a plastic straw. You may also do this with plastic grocery bags or cling-film, and remember to always bring a reusable bag when going shopping. Cleaning products, conditioner, shampoo, and liquid soap bottles are a major cause of plastic pollution. One solution: Look into making your own bath products!
Now if one would like to take local action against the use and production of plastic and polystyrene, you may chose from many options. One would be organising, joining and supporting a protest, fundraiser or local town hall that suggests a regulation and/or ban of non-biodegradable products. You could also contact your governor, mayor, senator, prime minister or president to take action against the problem. While this years official Earth Day topic is plastic pollution, you are more than welcome to organise a trash pick-up, start a compost bin, petition for change, make your community pledge to not use pesticides in the garden or parks. Anything, as long as you are doing something for Earth Day!