Once a year, on 22nd April, World Earth Day reminds us how important it is to show Mother Nature a little bit of love.
Some go public, banding together to sign petitions, clean up streets and raise awareness of global issues. Others opt for solo solutions, making their own eco effort to cut back on single-use plastics, step up their recycling game and make small sustainable changes whenever possible. But is there more we could be doing?
If you want to ensure that you play your part this Earth Day, we’re giving you the rundown of everything you need to know.
WHAT IS EARTH DAY?
The origins of Earth Day date back 50 years ago to 1970, when 20 million people in the US - around 10 percent of the country’s population at the time - took to the streets to protest the environmental impact of industrial development.
Earth Day later became an international campaign in 1990, when environmental activists asked one of the original organisers, Denis Hayes, to help create another event to spotlight the ecological challenges facing our planet. Now, Earth Day is celebrated by more than a billion people in 192 countries every year - which, if you ask us, makes it a pretty big deal.
Each year focuses on a key theme that’s most relevant for the time. This year’s theme is Invest In Our Planet, reframing the misconception that sustainability comes at a cost and championing the idea that a ‘green’ future is a beneficial and prosperous one.
HOW TO CELEBRATE EARTH DAY?
We’ve all heard the motto ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’, but if you really want to make a difference, our efforts need to span beyond one day a year. In other words, rather than just doing something just for Earth Day 2023, make a pledge to start a new habit.
Here are six sustainable habits you can adopt in light of World Earth Day:
1. PRIORITISE QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
When it comes to your wardrobe, it’s natural to want to fill it with endless options, but the reality is, you’re just not going to get the wear out of them.
A capsule wardrobe encourages you to invest in a small collection of timeless pieces designed to see you through for many seasons to come. The best part? If you’re buying less, you can use some of that money to invest in higher quality items that last longer (ahem, like AYBL).
It may sound obvious, but make sure you’re looking after your clothes properly too. That way you won’t have to worry about replacing them after wearing them only a handful of times. From caring for your cotton to washing your activewear inside out, go the extra mile to ensure your clothes stay at their best for longer.
READ MORE: How To Care For Your AYBL Activewear
2. SELL OR DONATE YOUR UNWANTED CLOTHES
Selling or donating your unwanted clothes, rather than leaving them hanging in your wardrobe, will help others to be more sustainable - they will invest in your pre-loved pieces rather than buying something new. A great way to do this is to have a ‘one-in, one-out’ policy - live by the mantra that every time you buy something, you’ll donate something.
Listen up Team USA… If you’re based in the US, you can now sell your AYBL gear through Re-AYBL. In doing this, you’ll help to extend the life-cycle of your activewear and reduce landfill waste. In return, you’ll get money towards your next ‘fit, as well as the satisfaction of choosing better for the planet! Learn more here.
3. SWAP ANIMAL FOR PLANT PRODUCE
What we eat contributes around a third of global greenhouse gas emissions and is responsible for almost 60 percent of global biodiversity loss.
Farming animals for meat and dairy requires a vast amount of land and huge inputs of water and feed. Moving toward a plant-based lifestyle - be it food, cosmetics or anything else - will help reduce your carbon footprint and help to prevent animal cruelty in general. Not to mention, it could help reduce your weekly shopping bill too!
4. PICK UP A REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE
Cute? Check. Trendy? Check? Keeps plastic out of landfill? Check.
Zip Water estimates that by 2050 the total volume of plastic ever produced will reach 34,000 million tonnes - over four times what has been produced so far. Simply by using a reusable water bottle, you can significantly reduce your plastic consumption.
Not to mention reusable bottles can promote better hydration, as carrying them with you can encourage you to drink more.
Shop our stainless steel bottles here.
5. WALK, RUN OR BIKE
Not driving just once a week cuts back on fuel and emissions (it really adds up!) - and making full use of public transport makes this far more achievable. According to one study, public transport usage saves the US the equivalent of 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline annually, which is equivalent to more than 11 million gallons per day.
To add to that, where possible, try to seek out any opportunity to hit the saddle or get walking. Not only will this reduce your carbon footprint, but it will have a profound effect on your mental and physical wellbeing. It’s a win win!
If you really want to go the extra mile this World Earth Day, why not donate your time or money? You could join a local campaign group, write to your local politicians or even donate to environmental charities, such as Greenpeace and 350.org to help tackle the main causes of nature’s decline.
There’s more ways to give than simply donating money. You can volunteer at your local nature reserves or parks, which can give you practical conservation experience, as well as helping to restore nature in your local area.
The beauty of Earth Day is that everyone can get involved, from all levels - and these six sustainable habits are something everyone can adopt.
But it’s worth adding that one of the most simple, yet rewarding ways to help protect our planet is to use your voice.
We’re the first generation to recognise that we’re destroying the world, and we could potentially be the last to be able to do anything about it. Speaking up is one of the most powerful things you can do, especially if it’s to the right people.
Talk to your friends, neighbours, colleagues and get them to make positive changes too. Make your voice heard.