What will you do this Earth Day?

With Earth Day 2022 fast approaching on the 22nd of April, we thought a lot about what to say - here, at isla, we believe that every day is Earth Day! 

The organiser of the global celebration, EARTHDAY.ORG announced that the theme for this year’s event will be #InvestInOurPlanet. Earth Day 2022 is focused on accelerating solutions to combat climate change by activating everyone – governments, citizens, and businesses – to be accountable and do their part. 

With this in mind, we’ve pulled together some Acts of Green to inspire you to get involved collectively, and individually by joining the largest environmental movement in history.

Collective Acts of Green for businesses and teams

 

1. Plant a tree through The Future Forest Company and Trees Not Tees

Check out The Future Forest Company, which focuses on planting trees within the UK, removing CO2 at scale from the atmosphere, stopping global warming, fighting climate change and protecting biodiversity. They are working to benefit both the environment and local rural communities by improving wildlife habitats and creating job opportunities. 

Every year, the event industry giveaways SWAG in its millions from coffee cups to t-shirts. The manufacturing of t-shirts, in particular, is a huge water-intensive process (2700L to be exact) whilst also producing CO2 emissions. Most of these t-shirts are never worn and end up in landfill which has a huge environmental cost on our planet. Could we give attendees the option of planting a tree rather than getting a t-shirt they won’t wear? Use your captive audience to inspire positive behavioural change so your event can leave a positive legacy for them and the planet.  Check out the Trees Not Tees who are working with a number of event organisers and helping them with just that

2. Go outside and join the cleanup!

As the weather is getting warmer, would you like to contribute and tackle waste and pollution by joining a cleanup or hosting one of your own in your community? Whether it’s a big group event or a solo cleanup, you can get involved anywhere. Beach cleanups, park cleanups, and neighbourhood cleanups are all fair game. Check out The Great Global Cleanup, which is a worldwide campaign to remove billions of pieces of trash from neighbourhoods, beaches, rivers, lakes, trails, and parks — they also have a map where you can find a cleanup near you.

3. Roll up your sleeves and help GreenTheUK

Strengthen brand engagement, and deliver on your CSR and ESG goals by becoming a GreenTheUK partner. Support the growth of a conservation or restoration project local to your business and rooted in your community. GreenTheUK’s aim is to deliver measurable local impact and create compelling marketing stories for the businesses that partner with them whilst championing wildlife projects across the UK. 

Set up a free consultation with GreenTheUK to identify your organisation’s priorities and align wildlife projects with your CSR strategies, contact – seeds@greentheuk.com

4. Get your team together and start a conversation

We all know that sustainability is a complex topic – but at isla, we believe that by working together, we can achieve more at the scale and pace that our planet needs. Sustainability is an emotive topic and often we have personal reasons for making changes in our lives to engage in climate-positive behaviours. Creating a space for your teams to start the conversation about sustainability and climate change will allow you as an organisation to identify your motivations and ambitions behind it, whilst discussing the challenges that might come across. Create a sustainability task force to work across departments to pool expertise and find solutions collectively. 

Would you like to engage your teams and become part of the movement leading the change? The training within isla membership is designed to promote the conversations and delve deep into the core areas within events that you can control, influence and where you can make a difference – find out more about the training and isla membership.

5. Challenge your teams by encouraging sustainable actions with Do Nation

Check out Do Nation who are helping businesses to engage their employees in sustainability by encouraging individuals to take actions such as cycling to work, driving more efficiently, eating less meat or turning the thermostat down a notch. Organisations can set up challenges pitting teams against each other in friendly competition, to see which team can make the most pledges and save the most carbon! 

Individual Acts of Green: Every Little Helps

 

1. Experiment and make your next meal plant-based

The food we eat has a direct impact on climate change and human health. Did you know that animal agriculture requires huge amounts of land and water? A single pound of beef requires 1,800 gallons of water, according to The FootPrint report. On top of depleting valuable resources, producing meat contributes a staggering level of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, a plant-based burger generates 90% less GHGs, has 99% less water impact and has 93% less impact on land use. Opting for plant-based meals even a couple of meals per week or doing meat-free Monday make a difference. Who knows – you might like it and might want to try a plant-based meal again!

2. Introduce a reusable bag into your grocery shopping routine

Did you know that single-use plastics are made primarily from fossil fuel-based chemicals (petrochemicals)? It takes up to 1,000 years for a plastic bag to break down and it’s estimated that we use approximately 5 trillion plastic bags each year worldwide! Despite many countries charging for single-use carrier bags in shops to deter us from buying them, the simple convenience of carrier bags means we often purchase them at the checkout. This is detrimental to the planet but there is a simple solution – bring a handy reusable bag next time you go shopping – every little helps!

If that doesn’t persuade you then check out this World Plastic Bag Counter – it’s scary stuff!   

3. Add reusable cutlery into your everyday carry

Many of us live our lives on the go these days. In a busy world, we don’t always know where we will be when we eat our next meal. But the problem with eating on the run is that you can’t turn to your silverware drawer to pull out a fork and knife. Single-use plastic cutlery used is a major source of plastic pollution as most of it can’t be recycled, plus the plastic is made from petroleum which is a fossil fuel. Like other plastic items—such as bags and bottles—cutlery can take centuries to break down naturally, giving the plastic waste ample time to work its way into the natural environment. The good news is that this plastic problem can easily be solved — get yourself a spare set of reusable cutlery that you could carry with you in your day-to-day life from metal to bamboo there are plenty of options out there to choose from.

4. Switch to renewable energy

By now most of us are aware that our use and production of energy have a massive impact on the climate. Globally, the use of energy represents by far the largest source of GHG emissions from human activities that warm our planet. About two-thirds of global GHG emissions are linked to burning fossil fuels for energy to be used for heating, electricity, transport and industry. 

Swapping out electricity that is generated by burning fossil fuels (like oil, gas and coal) for renewable energy which is generated from natural resources (like sun, wind, water and biofuel) is one of the easiest ways to reduce our individual carbon footprint. Check out our partner Big Clean Switch which helps homes and businesses switch to green energy. They are also a B Corp, which means they meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance

5. Reconsider your commute

For many people, the journey to and from work are the bookends of the daily grind. But how we choose to travel to the office, or even to pop to the shops, is also one of the biggest day-to-day climate decisions we face. In 2019, transportation was the largest contributor to GHG emissions in the UK by producing 27% of the UK’s total emissions with personal vehicles making up more than half of those emissions. Covid-19 has demonstrated that a reduction in air travel, road travel and production has a significant positive impact on the climate. Thus, the way we get around each day can make a big difference.

Reconsidering and greening your commute isn’t as hard as you might think – and in many cases, it’s good for your wallet and your health as well as the environment. For the shorter distances – why not walk or cycle? It’s easy, accessible and a zero-emissions mode of transport that costs nothing and results in a range of health and wellbeing benefits. For the longer distances – take public transportation to get that time back in your day to answer those unread emails or read the best seller?

These steps may all seem pretty simple but as one UK supermarket says “every little helps” it’s always better to do something than nothing.  

For more ideas and inspiration check out the TAKE ACTION NOW PAGE. What will you do #InvestInOurPlanet?

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