Earth Day is an important day for taking action and using our voices to help save our precious planet. There are lots of things you can do to help, and there are many activities and resources on our website that can help you, from writing to local businesses and politicians to organising a litter pick, and from doing an eco energy audit at school to investigating the food miles of your dinner at home.
What is Earth Day?
Earth Day takes place on the 22nd April every year, and is a chance to come together to focus action and attention on our planet, and what needs to be done to save it. It is the largest environmental movement on Earth! Every year has a theme – for 2023 it’s ‘invest in our planet’ – and you can register the action you’ll be taking on the Earthday.org website.
Invest In Our Planet is the theme for 2023, and it’s all about shifting the focus from consumption, waste and making profit from our planet at any cost to making a swift change to a sustainable, green economy that puts the planet first.
In the words of the organisers of Earth Day, it’s all about ensuring that ‘everyone is accounted for, and everyone accountable’. That means that we don’t allow some people to be left in poverty or poor conditions along the way to a greener future, and that we make sure that everyone’s voices and concerns are involved. And it also means that we all have a responsibility to take action, and more than that, the power to do something to help.
“The Earth Day 2023 theme is focused on engaging the more than 1 billion people, governments, institutions, and businesses who participate in Earth Day to recognize our collective responsibility and to help accelerate the transition to an equitable, prosperous green economy for all. We are focused on reframing the conversation, accelerating action, and bringing everyone together to understand that this is within our reach if we work together.”
What can I do?
Lots! There are many actions you can take as an individual, group or school to help
Write a letter to a business or your local MP
Your voice is powerful, and if you can unite your voice with others, it becomes very hard to ignore. Politicians and businesses listen to voices, and so you can use yours to help make things better for people, animals and the planet.
Our Climate Letters resource is all about identifying local businesses you can write to, to ask them what action they are taking to address climate change and be more environmentally friendly. It could be a water company who are releasing sewerage into rivers, it could be a restaurant who could be recycling the oil they use or sourcing food more locally, or it could be a local supermarket who could donate food rather than throwing it away.
What uses energy at home or at school?
Every electrical appliance uses energy, and that energy often comes from non-renewable sources. The more energy that we use, the greater the impact it has on the environment. So if we can cut down on our energy consumption we can reduce our impact! This activity takes you through how to do an audit to identify what uses energy at home (or at school, or in a business) so you know where energy can be saved.
Fairtrade – create a poster or advert, raise awareness
If you’re interested in making the world a fairer, more environmentally friendly place, then we can’t forget about people. Things like the tea we drink and the chocolate we eat are often produced by people who may not be getting a fair wage or safe conditions for the work they do.
The Fairtrade movement, and the certification that goes with it, aims to change it. Products labelled with the Fairtrade logo are made by organisations that pay their workers fairly. This activity is all about researching what Fairtrade is, and spreading the word about it to encourage more people to choose Fairtrade products.
How do I spread the word?
If you want to inspire others to get involved, and share your actions so we can help you celebrate them, then social media is a great way to do it. Whether it’s a video on Instagram Reels or TikTok, or photos and comments on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, use some of the following hashtags.
#InvestInOurPlanet #EarthDay #EarthDayEveryDay #ClimateChange #Environment #Sustainability #TakeAction #ItsNotADayItsAMovement #TheGreatGlobalCleanup #TheCanopyProject #FashionForTheEarth #VoteEarth #GreenCities #ClimateLiteracy
And of course if you’re a Roots & Shoots group or use one of our Roots & Shoots activities as the basis for your action, we’d love to know about it and share it! So don’t forget to at-mention us and and use the following hashtags;
It’s not a day, it’s a movement
Taking action on Earth Day itself is a good start, and it’s great for focussing attention and action, but it’s not enough on it’s own.
Earth Day is great for raising awareness, for encouraging more people to make greener choices, for focussing our voices as we call on politicians and businesses to make a transition to more environmentally friendly practices, but it doesn’t end there.
The actions we take and motivation we engender on Earth Day need to be translated into continuous, sustainable pressure and focus. We need to continue our actions beyond the day itself; we need to live greener lives, help others have their voices heard, use our voices and consumer power to make politicians and businesses aware that this is what we want.