Earth Day 2023: Small but powerful ways you can improve the environment

Every year on 22 April, people around the world mark Earth Day to demonstrate their support for environmental protection. If you want to be a part of the day this year, here are some things you can do to reduce the impact you have on the natural world. 

The first Earth Day was in 1970 after activist John McConnell proposed the idea at a UNESCO conference the year before. Since then, it’s grown considerably, and it’s estimated that 1 billion individuals across more than 190 countries take part in some way each year. 

There are plenty of reasons to support Earth Day, from growing concerns about climate change to seeing natural spaces in your local area that could benefit from some care. 

So, what can you do to support Earth Day this year?

This year the theme is “invest in our planet” to encourage people to dedicate their time, resources, and energy to solving environmental issues. There are lots of different types of events scheduled to take place on 22 April, which you could be part of. They range from guided walks perfect for learning more about the natural world to organised beach cleans. 

You can find local events on the Earth Day website. 

It’s also a great chance to make a long-term commitment that could reduce the impact your lifestyle has on the environment. There are lots of ways to do this, and here are five ideas to think about. 

1. Adopt a local area to keep clean

Organised clean-ups are common on Earth Day, but why not take it further and adopt a local area? 

Rubbish can accumulate in natural spaces, like your local park or hiking trail. Taking a bag with you each time you visit to collect rubbish and bringing it home with you to dispose of could clean up these spots in no time at all. As well as supporting your local community and improving the space for everyone to enjoy, you’ll see the benefits too. 

2. Commit to reducing how much plastic you use

Plastic has become a huge issue for the environment. In fact, it’s so widespread that research has found that microplastics are entering the food chain. It’s estimated that there are around 24.4 trillion fragments of microplastics in the upper regions of the world’s oceans. 

Reducing how much plastic you use can be difficult, as it’s used for so many different purposes, but it is possible. You could avoid single-use items, such as plastic cutlery, or purchase household goods that offer refillable packs to reduce the amount of packaging used. 

When you do use plastic, check if it’s recyclable before you throw it in the bin. 

3. Make part of your garden attractive to wildlife 

You could support your local ecosystem by leaving part of your garden wild. Modern gardens with patios and lawns don’t support pollinators, so creating a dedicated space can be valuable, especially if you live in an urban area.

You don’t have to let nature reclaim your whole garden, but adding wildflowers to a small patch of your lawn or adding pots filled with plants that pollinators love, like lavender or primrose, could make a real difference. Adding a few other features, like bird feeders or a small fountain, could turn your garden into a haven for wildlife. 

4. Eat less meat

You don’t need to become a vegetarian or vegan to reduce the impact your food has on the environment. Cutting down how much meat you eat could still be positive. 

Animal products are often land, water, and energy-intensive, so produce more pollution when compared to plant-based products. Switching to a vegetarian diet a couple of days a week could reduce your carbon footprint.

It’s a great chance to try new foods and recipes too. Perhaps a dal curry or Mediterranean vegetable gnocchi will become family favourites.

5. Consider how your financial decisions affect the environment

This year’s theme – invest in our planet – makes it the perfect opportunity to review how your financial decisions affect the environment. While you may consider how purchases contribute to environmental degradation, have you thought about how your investment portfolio could be? In some cases, you could make changes that will support environmental goals.

If this is something you’re thinking about, it’s important to balance your environmental goals with financial ones. You need to consider your risk profile and remember that investment values could fall. If you want to reflect environmental values in your financial decisions, please contact us. 

Please note: This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.

The value of investments and any income from them can fall as well as rise and you may not get back the original amount invested.

Past performance is not a guide to future performance and should not be relied upon.

Approved by The Openwork Partnership on 21/03/2023.

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