Earth Day 2022: Little things that make a big difference

22nd April 2022

On Earth Day 2022, we’re six months on from COP26 in Glasgow and climate change and progress towards Net Zero has been much in the news over recent weeks.

In London – and cities around the world – groups of scientists have been protesting climate crisis as part of the scientist rebellion initiative.

Consumers are already facing soaring energy and fuel bills. And the war in Ukraine has exacerbated the problems of energy supply and focused governments on how we can fast track development of renewables such as onshore and offshore wind, solar and nuclear.

While inevitably, the biggest push towards Net Zero will need to come from governments and corporations – it’s easy to believe that as individuals, our actions don’t count for much. But Earth Day reminds us that there’s plenty we can do. This year, on the 52nd Earth Day, we are urged to take action at all levels to deal with the climate crisis.

As individuals we do have influence – as consumers, voters and as members of communities. It’s never too late to ‘Think Global, Act Local.’

Here’s a list of 8 things that all of us can do – inspired by some of our clients’ work:

  1. Turning the thermostat down by 1 degree can save money and reduce a home’s carbon emissions
  2. Active travel: walk, cycle, run, e-bike or scoot instead of driving the car, or share the commute with friends or colleagues if practicable
  3. Get outdoors into green spaces for exercise – according to our client the British Psychological Society, it’s good for your mental health. BPS has also noted that human behaviour and psychological needs should be at the forefront of environmental policy-making. And if you’re lucky enough to live in Scotland, there are hundreds of forests you can visit, including many managed by Forestry and Land Scotland
  4. Reduce and reuse – for example buy fewer, better quality clothes if you can and look after garments that can potentially last many years. Our client Gore recommends following wash and care guides to ensure your garments and shoes last as long as possible
  5. Recycle, recycle, recycle – whether it’s a wine bottle, wrapper, container or paper, and avoid non-recyclables such as plastic straws and toothbrushes that can take literally hundreds to break down in landfill (400 years in the case of a toothbrush). Our clients Boots has also been taking steps to increase its sustainability in store with a health and beauty container recycling scheme that is available in 700 stores across the UK
  6. Eat a more plant based diet and reduce food waste as much as possible by getting creative with leftovers. Make soup with wilting vegetables you find lingering in the salad drawer, and remember to think about root to tip when cooking to use as much of the food item as possible. Our client Compass has plenty ideas ahead of Stop Food Waste Day next week
  7. Plant a tree if you have a garden – it’s one of the quickest & cheapest ways to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere. Get together with your neighbours and see if you can plant a mini Miyawaki urban forest. Find out what Forestry and Land Scotland is doing on the national forest estate to tackle the climate emergency, from growing more home grown timber to restoring peatlands
  8. Donate unwanted stuff that’s still good to use, and buy second hand when you can

These are just eight of the thousands of small things we can all do each day to make a big difference. For more inspiration, visit the Sustainability for All website. And this Earth Day, remember that our actions do matter, and together we can create change.