Things We Can Do To Observe This 53rd Earth Day on 22 April 2023
As we wish our Muslim friends “Selamat Hari Raya” this coming 22 April 2023, we are also observing the 53rd Earth Day. It is a day we renew our pledge to be part of the green revolution and to follow through with action to demonstrate support for environmental protection. Outlines below are some of the things we can do to celebrate this year Earth Day.
Reduce Our Energy Consumption
This is the first thing, and one which I can really relate to, which we can do to make a difference. I ran an experiment back in 2008 and managed to save 63 Kilowatts of electricity in that two months. All that by a change in habit and it takes less than 10 seconds to do it. Are you ready for my secret?
Switch OFF any unused appliances at the socket and I do mean OFF, not in standby mode. Yes, saving electricity can be that simple and straightforward. Besides this, we can further reduce our energy consumption by exploring more energy-efficient products in the current market.
Reduce Our Use Of Single-Use Plastics
According to UN Environment Programme, “Around the world, one million plastic bottles are purchased every minute, while up to five trillion plastic bags are used worldwide every year.” One of the best ways to reduce use of single-use plastics is by carrying reusable bags when we go groceries shopping so as to avoid using plastic bags.
On top of this, we can also bring our own refillable water bottle instead of using single-use plastic bottles. Furthermore, we can say no to straw or bring our own reusable straw when ordering drinks. And when getting takeout food, we can bring our own containers to avoid using disposable plastic containers.
As consumers, we have the power of choice. We can choose products made from sustainable materials such as bamboo, glass, or metal over single-use plastics.
Support Sustainable Agriculture Practices
First and foremost, what we can do is to buy locally grown produce. Buying locally grown produce not only helps to reduce the environmental impact of transporting food long distances, but it also supports local farmers.
Secondly, we can support food responsibly grown that do not use synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, which not only cause harm to the environment but also to human health.
Thirdly, we can reduce food waste. This is liken to killing two birds with one stone. By reducing food waste, we can reduce the environmental impact of food production, as well as save money and resources. Some ways to reduce food waste include planning meals, buying only what we need, and storing food properly.
Fourthly, we can choose sustainable seafood. Look for seafood that is sustainably sourced, meaning it is caught or farmed in a way that minimizes harm to the environment and maintains healthy fish populations.
Last but not least, support regenerative agriculture, a holistic farming approach which I only heard of recently. It describes farming and grazing practices that, among other benefits, reverse climate change by rebuilding soil organic matter and restoring degraded soil biodiversity – resulting in both carbon drawdown and improving the water cycle.
Water covers around 71 per cent of the Earth’s surface. Yet, only 0.5 per cent of it is available fresh water. And adverse climate change could further strain our water supply.
How can we conserve water? By making some lifestyle changes. We can start by taking shorter showers, a straightforward way to reduce water usage. To further reduce water usage, we can also install a more water efficient showerhead.
Next, turn off the tap while brushing your teeth or shaving; you can save up to 23 litres of water every day.
In additional, we can choose appliances like dishwashers and washing machines that are designed to be water-efficient, which can help to save significant amounts of water.
It might seem insignificant but fix leaks quickly. Even small leaks can waste significant amounts of water over time.
Plant Trees and Support Reforestation
Planting trees and supporting reforestation efforts is an important way to address climate change and protect biodiversity.
Quoting Helen Keller, “Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.” We can consider organizing a tree planting event in our neighborhoods. Planting trees not only helps to provide shade and beautify public spaces, but also absorbs carbon dioxide.
We can also consider supporting organizations around the world, which are working to restore degraded forests and planting new trees, through donations or volunteering.
Other than planting trees, reducing paper usage can help reduce the demand for wood products and, in turn, reduce the need for deforestation. Consider using digital documents instead of paper whenever possible.
Support Renewable Energy
By supporting renewable energy sources like wind, solar, and hydropower, we can reduce greenhouse gases and promote a sustainable energy future. On this, government in every nations can look into reducing their carbon footprint by either purchasing or directly generating electricity from clean, renewable sources. At the same time, there has to be a shift from energy subsidies from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Fossil-fuel subsidies are one of the biggest financial barriers hampering the world’s shift to renewable energy. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says that about $5.9 trillion was spent on subsidizing the fossil fuel industry in 2020 alone; that’s roughly $11 billion a day.
Choose Eco-Friendly Products and Brands
Again, we can use our power as consumers to consciously choose eco-friendly products and brands that prioritize sustainability, such as using biodegradable cleaning products or buying products with recyclable packaging.
This list is by no mean exhaustive. I believe there are still many things you can do to observe this year Earth Day. However, I hope that through this list, it can inspire you to further explore actions you can undertake to protect this beautiful planet. Together we can work to create a healthier and more sustainable planet for future generations.
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