Earth Day - Restore our World
2021 marks the 51st World Earth Day. It started in the United States of America in 1970, where 20 million people gathered across the country to call for greater protection of our planet. Since then, the day has grown to be celebrated in over 190 countries worldwide, co-ordinated by the Earth Day Network.
The theme in 2021 is ‘Restore our World’
Below are 3 easy ways we can all help to restore our Earth and contribute to a better future for everyone.
Become a plastic pollution warrior!
Humans produce around 150 million tons of single plastic waste a year that ends up in landfill and in our oceans and seas. Ultimately harming the wildlife and their habitats. But Thanks to Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet series, many of us are becoming more aware of our impact and are making positive changes to eliminate single use plastics from our lives. You can work out your plastic pollution contribution here: https://www.earthday.org/plastic-pollution-calculator-2/ and work towards breaking your single use plastic habit (or feel really smug if you already have!)
Improve your local biodiversity.
Biodiversity is essential to a healthy Earth, it is all the plants, insects and animals in their habitats, working together to create a balanced eco-system. This supplies us with oxygen, pollinates our food plants, and cleans our air and water. Across the globe, eco-systems are being put at risk due to human activity, destroying habitats and wiping out species.
BUT we can help to repair the damage caused. Start small and plant out some wonderful bee and butterfly friendly plants, here is a list from the Wildlife Trusts to get you started. It shows some plants that will be a great food source all year round: https://www.wildlifewatch.org.uk/sites/default/files/2020-07/BEE%26BUTTERFLY-GARDEN.jpg
Know your ‘foodprint’
1/3 of all food produced worldwide is wasted each year, either during processing in manufacturing or by humans throwing it away. Not only could this food be used to feed the hungry, once it starts to break down in landfill, it produces carbon dioxide and methane – key contributors to climate change. We can all make changes though. Check out your ‘foodprint’ using one of these online calculators and it’ll help you understand how much your food choices impact the planet:
If you have room at home, you could also start to compost your kitchen food waste, then you’ll have your own fabulous compost to keep those bee and butterfly plants happy in your garden!
Now let’s celebrate Earth Day - make an Earth ‘cake’.
If you have children who love outdoors and muddy play – this is for you!
On a walk, take a basket or bag and collect some treasures that would make fabulous ‘cake’ decorations. Things like fallen petals, leaves and berries (remember not to pick anything, leave those for the wildlife) twigs, stones, old shells and feathers - use your imagination.
When you return with your treasures, you’ll need lots of lovely thick mud to make your cake, dig a small hole, add water to the mud you’ve dug up and mix - get your hands in or use a stick, it’s up to you. Shape however you fancy and decorate with your finds, perhaps some twig candles could finish it off?
This activity would be a great discussion starter: What do you think the Earth would like as a present? How old do you think the Earth is?
Whatever the answers, it is great to get children talking and involved in helping make the Earth a better place to live for many more generations to come.