This year, April 22, 2019 is celebrated as the 49th annual Earth Day – a global event to celebrate Mother Nature and put environmental issues in the spotlight.
Started by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson, after the devastation caused by the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill, which killed more than 3500 birds off the coast of California. The first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970 and is now a global event.
Each year a theme is taken up as the prime factor for which action is taken at a global level.
Theme for 2019 –
The theme for this year is ‘Protect Our Species’. It aims to draw attention to the rapid extinction of species across the world, which is directly linked to human activity which causes climate change, deforestation and pollution.
What we can do to save the Earth –
The Earth Day Network has issued a list of actions people can take on an everyday basis to tackle climate change and protect the environment and save species across the world.
Switch to sunscreens that help protect coral reef.
Reduce plastic waste. Use cloth bags.
Create bee-friendly garden. Protect the extinction of bees.
Disposable diapers contribute millions of tonnes of landfill waste. Use cloth diapers instead.
Use newspapers for wrapping gifts etc.
Stop using disposable plastics, especially single-use plastics like bottles, bags and straws. Reduce your garbage by 10% and your carbon footprint by 1,200 pounds a year.
Use a hybrid or electric model of car.
Segregate trash as per guidelines given. Start a compost pit at home.
Latest studies show that it takes more than 15,000 litres of water to produce 1kg of beef, more than 10,000 litres for sheep meat, close to 6,000 litres for pork and over 4,000 litres for chicken. Vegetables take much lesser. For eg – cabbage and tomatoes cost under 250 litres.
Pay bills online rather than using paper and cheques.
Wash clothes only when you have a full load. Saves water.
Use a handkerchief rather than tissue paper.
Calculate your carbon footprint to know exactly where you can do better. Websites like footprint.wwf.org.uk and carbonfootprint.com have comprehensive surveys.
Use environmentally-friendly, non-toxic cleaning products.
Change your car’s air filter regularly.
Change your paper bills to online billing.
Set your office printer to print two-sided.
Indulge in shorter showers.
Turn off and unplug electronics you’re not using. This includes turning off your computer at night.
Move your heater thermostat down two degrees in winter and up two degrees in the summer to reduce your carbon footprint.