With Earth Day fast approaching (Monday the 22ndof April), we thought we’d share 10 Earth Day tips to help us consume more responsibly and tread that little bit lighter on the planet, making sure that future people and pets can enjoy it as much we do.
It’s probably fair to say that most of us have been guilty of occasionally favouring price or convenience over the planet when shopping for both ourselves and our pets. However, with a whole host of ethically and sustainably-minded businesses, products and services emerging, it’s now easier than ever to be a conscious consumer. Yay!
But first, what is Earth Day?
Founded in 1970 and run by Earth Day Network, Earth Day takes place each year and aims to show widespread support for environmental protection and raise awareness of the ecological challenges that we face as a planet. Earth Day Network works throughout the year to combat climate change, plastic pollution and the extinction of species. Although Earth Day started in the US, events are now held globally in nearly 192 countries, with around 1 billion people taking part- pretty impressive right! This year, the focus is protecting the Earth’s species.
Our top 10 Earth Day tips
1. Buy a reusable water bottle
As David showed us, plastic's clogging up our oceans- if we're not careful, there could be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050 (we're not sure how battered plastic would go down at our local chippy!) Buying a reusable water bottle is an easy change that's guaranteed to save you money in the long run whilst also saving the planet. Check out S'well for some lovely designs that are guaranteed to make you the talk of the office.
2. Invest in a reusable coffee cup
Still paying that extra 50p for a disposable cup when picking up your morning flat white? If so, it's time to take a small step to help the planet and your purse. Many people assume that takeaway coffee cups can be recycled alongside card and paper. However, most actually contain a pesky plastic lining, making recycling virtually impossible. A whopping 2.5 billion coffee cups are thrown away each year in the UK, with less than 1 in 4 recycled. So get your paws on a more permanent eco-friendly vessel. If you're not sure where to look, we'd recommend a Keep Cup. Alternatively, go for a collapsible cup if you're after an easy portable solution.
3. Shop local
Shopping locally is a great way to protect the planet and support your community, making it one of the key Earth Day tips for 2019. Transporting goods over long distances uses truckloads of energy and pumps out Co2 emissions. Buying from local companies means a lower carbon footprint- a step in the right direction in terms of tackling global warming. Why not buy straight from a nearby farm to get your hands on fresh local produce? Even if you live in the heart of a big city like us, you'll never be too far away from a local farmers' market and the guys at farm drop deliver from independent producers straight to your doors.
4. Make a b line for B Corps
If you already know what a B corp is - top marks! For those of you that don't B Corporations are a new type of business committed to making a positive impact on the world through the highest social and environmental standards. Over 2778 companies globally are currently certified, ranging from huge multi-nationals to start-ups like ourselves. If you like to crack open a cold one after a long week, Toast Ale is definitely one to try. Brewed from fresh surplus bread, their beers taste delicious and tackle the huge problem of food waste- raising a toast has never felt so good! If your pet's feeling left out, just fill up their bowl with our ranges of natural dog food and natural cat food from us.
5. Clean without chemicals
Many cleaning products contain cocktails of nasty chemicals that are toxic to humans and furry friends. What's more, most take a long time to degrade, allowing them to pollute water supplies and reap havoc on wildlife. Laundry detergents are a major culprit- they often contain phosphates which can clog up waterways, killing fish and plants. Next time your pet puts their muddy paws somewhere they shouldn't, why not use a natural product to make it squeaky clean? If you're feeling adventurous, you could even try making your own.
6. Wash away plastic waste
Aside from the chemicals, cleaning products normally come in plastic containers, adding to the planet's problems. For an eco-alternative, try Splosh. Just order the cleaning products you need and get them delivered straight to your door. When they run out, use the handy app to order a refill and pour it into your existing bottle. Don't sweat, if your bottle ever breaks, they'll replace it for free.
7. Rethink food packaging
Strolling through the supermarket aisles, it's shocking to see the amount of unnecessary packaging- there's really no need for tomatoes to be tucked up warm in a plastic blanket. Go for loose items where possible and lug them home in your favourite tote bag. After you've cooked up a treat, boycott clingfilm and stash any leftovers in a Tupperware container that can be used again and again and again... With food for fur-babies in mind, you can sleep easy knowing that the new packaging for our dog treats is 100% plastic-free, compostable and recycles with your normal paper- result!
8. Transform your beauty regime
Some of us spend quite a bit of time applying various lotions and potions each day. Lush make an effort to sell their products 'naked' (without packaging) wherever possible. For products that do need packaging, they run a closed loop recycling scheme using simple black pots. Just return 5 clean pots to a store and they'll be recycled into gleaming new ones. You even get a free face mask. Boom!
9. Plan ahead to avoid food waste
We've all done that mad dash to the supermarket, without working out what we actually need. Many of us panic and buy far more than we can eat, causing lots of food to go to waste. Scheduling in a bit of time to plan out your meals for the week makes sure food goes in your mouth rather than in the bin. If you're pushed for time, why not opt for a subscription service that delivers food to your door?
10. Scrap the poo bags
If you’re a dog owner, one of your daily joys is picking up your pooch's poop. After a whiff of the fresh goods, most people focus on getting the turds off their hands ASAP. Just like a lingering bad small, poo bags can hang around for quite some time – thousands of years in fact. Thankfully, biodegradable poo bags are now on the market so it’s easy to make the switch. However, if you're throwing these away in park bins, most end up in landfill which doesn't solve the problem. Dicky bags are an option if you don't want to parade your poop- chuck your full biodegradable poo bag inside and enjoy the rest of your walk. You can then dispose of the bag in your own back garden/compost area, saving it from going to landfill.
How many of these do you already do? Got more great tips to share with us? Let us know in the comments.