Earth Day – Restore our planet: dos & don’ts
The Earth Day is on April 22nd. Above all, this day is good for one thing: learning to appreciate our environment more and to behave accordingly. So a little refresher on small and large things that can be done to help our planet restore.
Do you think there is nothing you can do to save the planet, that your actions don’t really matter? Sometimes the things that can be done to improve the climate are easier than you think.
We have to get rid of the idea of “all or nothing”, make fun of flexitarians and proudly take our Tupperware to the restaurant. Short-term environmental challenges such as the “No Plastic November” also make a difference. Every contribution to climate protection is a step in the right direction. The challenge is just to get started.
Symbolic politics is often used when it comes to environmental protection: The ban on plastic bags does not make our earth clean. Taking the bike instead of the car cannot do anything to our carbon footprint and the McDonalds boycott will not save the climate either. However, the collective impact is underestimated.
For years, science has agreed that collective action is of great importance in societal learning and emancipation processes. These structures can be a way of breaking down global problems that were previously considered unsolvable on a collective and local level and counteracting the feeling of powerlessness. If you attribute a lasting effect to what you do or don’t do for the enivironment, motivation will follow And this is contagious.
The consciousness and actions of the individual have an influence on state- and market-actors when this happens as a collective. And there are enough concepts. But you have to participate.
Find the right contribution for you
1. Raise awareness with a window sign
A corona-safe way to create awareness for our planet, similar to Pride Month, is to put up a window sign instead of going out on the street. These can be tagged with “Earthrise” or “Earthday2021”. You can also find inspiration here.
Or raise awareness online, with one click by signing different petitions. You can find climate petitions on, among others, aufstehen.at, change.org, earthday.org, greenheroes.at or greenpeace.at, with which you can send a collective message.
2. Make yourself “climate neutral”
With a monthly donation of 7 € to “Team Climate“ you support projects that help to reduce your footprint. Living in a country like Austria alone gives us a CO2 footprint of 3.2 tons. This can be reduced scientifically and repeatedly verified through these projects. They are helping to protect the forest in Peru, make India’s energy more renewable and process drinking water in Bangladesh.
3. Food food food
According to Oxford University, 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse emissions come from meat and dairy products. It seems to be more than enough to tweak something about our diet. The ways to get there can be very different. For someone it might already be a fixed day of the week meat-free. Others may only eat meat once a week or eat two vegan dishes a day. It is not about going for “all or not at all”, baby steps!
Another way to eat more climate-friendly is to save food from being thrown away. With the app “Too good to go” you can buy groceries cheaply that have expired and would be thrown away otherwise.
With a visit to the farmer’s market you can support local farmers, avoid plastic and support organic products. These are also actions against long supply chains and environmental damage through transport. How about supporting a farmer regularly? You can find out more about “harvest shares” and vegetable boxes here.
What unfortunately goes mostly unnoticed is the quality of the food when visiting a restaurant. One way to make an impression here is to ask about the products: Under which condition where the chickens kept from which you got your eggs? Where do the products and especially the meat come from? If the food is questionable, you can always choose another dish. Asking questions in the supermarket can also make a difference. Branch managers or employees can pass on requests, which, for example, leads to a larger vegan offer or more unpackaged food.
4. Reduce, Remove, Reuse, Recycle, Upcycling
Reduce: Consumption is deeply anchored in our society. You quickly feel drawn to a cheap T-shirt, another home accessory or to the tool that makes a small move easier. That is why you have to ask yourself when purchasing a new item whether you absolutely need it and, if so, maybe you could actually get it second-hand?
Remove: Garbage in our environment is not nice to look at, so why not take something with you and dispose of it. Bringing a trash bag and gloves to the park can also be made a routine. And a bag is full sooner than you would want.
Reuse: Saying no to plastic bags, straws, advertising in the post box or the disposable packaging for food. This also includes not forgetting your fabric vegetable bag when shopping or your Tupperware box and your own coffee cup with you to the restaurant. And a “No advertising“-sticker can be made by yourself in no time.
Recycle: In addition to the usual sorting of waste, you should also endeavor to dispose of plastic objects and, above all, electronic waste. Electronic waste should be disposed in the recycling center (MA-48). Passing it on to a dealer or selling it to private persons can cause the device to poison the environment in an African rubbish dump.
Upcycling: Anyone who has always wanted to dabble with the sewing machine has an easy start with old clothes. If you want to give your old clothes a new meaning, you can donate them to the clothes container next door, give them away to friends or take part in clothes-trading market.
5. Volunteer and donation opportunities