As we approach Earth Day on 22nd April 2021, we have listed some actions you can take today to help the earth. Our awareness of global climate issues is gradually growing and each one of us can play our own part in shaping the future. Some days it feels like time is rapidly running out, other times it feels we might have a chance if we all act together. Have a look at our list and take action today so you can be a part of the change and make a difference.
- Ask for greener energy.
Contact your energy supplier and ask what green energy they are using and find out whether you are paying for renewable energy or not. If your provider does not use renewable energy or green energy, consider switching to a green energy provider in Spain. We found this useful list of renewable energy providers in Spain
- Plant flowers or herbs in your garden or terrace to attract bees.
Now is the perfect time of year to get planting. It doesn’t matter how much or how little space you have. I planted lavender in a small window box last year and this spring I have already seen some bees collecting the pollen. Every little helps. Here is a list of plants that are great for attracting bees.
- Buy local and/or organic veg and buy in season.
When you buy local, you’re aiming to reduce the time from ‘farm to fork’ so that we can contribute to a lower carbon footprint or as is sometimes called ‘foodprint’. When you buy organic fruit and vegetables, you’re also helping to save the lives of bees and insects that would otherwise be killed off and which provide a vital part of the food chain in many delicate eco systems around the world. You also help prevent toxic chemicals leeching into soils and into rivers, waterways and finally, the ocean. And when you buy in season you can also help contribute to a lower carbon footprint of your food because it is likely that the seasonal fruit and veg has not had to be grown in artificial conditions or shipped hundreds or thousands of miles to reach you.
- If you’re not already vegan, can you manage a Vegan Viernes (Friday)?
The idea of Meatless Monday became popular in the UK a while back, but I challenge you to have a Vegan Viernes every week. We found this incredible Spanish website for vegan recipes!
- Calculate your own carbon footprint using this multilingual tool.
You can choose what language you view it in and enter the country you live in, and then enter the amounts you use over an average year (you might need to refer to a few energy/utility bills to get accurate data). You are then offered ways in which you can offset your carbon. https://www.carbonfootprint.com/
- Reduce your water consumption.
Take shorter showers, save water from the tap when waiting for it to get warm, or use a water-saving attachment on your tap or shower head. With all the rain we have had in Spain lately, hopefully you have been saving water in your garden or terrace so you don’t need to water your plants with tap water!
- Slow Fashion.
Clear out your unwanted clothes and take them to the charity shop or clothes recycling bin. Enjoy the space and if you desperately need to replace something, buy second hand or from an ethical producer. Last year I managed to go 10 months without buying anything new, and even then, the only new clothes I bought were underwear. Obviously, this is not the kind of item you can buy second hand, but you can definitely look for ethical suppliers and more eco-friendly materials such as bamboo or organic cotton, as well as something made in Spain and with ethical work practices.
- Pledge to support a conservation charity.
Make a donation once a month, even the cost of a coffee or lunch will help if you do it on a regular basis. We donate to Sea Shepherd every month in order to help them tackle illegal fishing and poaching in the seas and oceans of the globe. There are many options when it comes to conservation, from reforestation and protection of the soil to ocean plastic, climate education or supporting campaigns for ethical farming and working conditions. Do your research and find an organisation that resonates with you.
- Carry a reusable water bottle with you wherever you go (and enjoy 20% off at the moment!).
Download the refill app to check which places will be happy to refill the bottle for you. We added the water dispenser machine in Manilva, Málaga recently but would love to see more bars in Spain taking part.
- Take part in a local beach clean up or tree planting day.
In our area you can join organisations like Mi Moana (Mijas, Málaga) and Plastic Free Seas who have a base in UK as well as Calahonda, Málaga.
- Attend your local artisan market.
Support small businesses and buy handmade and plastic-free cosmetics or other eco-friendly products. We will be attending our first one of the year on Sunday 28th March at The Farm in Marbella, come and check it out.
- Look for and sign petitions in your country about climate action and plastic pollution.
If you have signed petitions like this in the past from Greenpeace or Avaast or Change.org etc. then you will likely have regular requests for your signature on various green campaigns that need our support in order to make things happen at governmental level. It’s a really simple action that you can do from your home or desk and only takes a couple of minutes of your time.
- Educate yourself!
Read blogs and books on climate action and green issues in your country. Knowledge is power and you might get your friends and family thinking too. There are so many great writers out there talking about green issues, sustainability, zero waste living, veganism, plastic pollution, renewable energy, climate change and our natural environment. Do a quick search on Ecosia (the green search engine) and subscribe to the newsletters that really interest you.
- Conversely, number 14 is to do the opposite!
Did you know our digital footprint also has a hugely damaging effect on the environment? The more people that are online and the more data that is stored, the more energy is used in storing it. So, one action you can take today is actually to delete any emails you’re needlessly hanging onto (especially in your ‘sent’ items, it could be tens of thousands) and unsubscribe from the emails you no longer read.
- Organise your own clean up for Earth Day this April 2021 and get your event on the global map: https://cleanup.earthday.org/
We hope you enjoyed reading the list and feel inspired to take action on at least some of them, if not all! Wishing everyone strength and inspiration for Earth Day this year.