On the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, 5 ways to reduce your environmental impact

How To | April 22, 2020

We can all make small changes that contribute to a more sustainable planet. Here are five suggestions on where to start.

Today marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, first celebrated in 1970 with a tree planting by U.S. President Richard Nixon. Earth Day during a pandemic crisis means that celebrations will be very different. As the website for the Earth Day Network states: “We may be apart, but through the power of digital media, we’re also more connected than ever.”

Where you live, the world today might feel a bit quieter with fewer people and cars on the streets. How can you rethink your way of interacting with it going forward? It can be hard to know how to create an impact as individuals, but there are a number of easy things we can do to minimize our environmental impact — today and in the future.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by information and news on climate change, ocean plastics, deforestation, and the many other threats to our planet. When we all work (apart but) together, small changes to our daily routine can go a long way toward helping the planet. Here are five easy ways you can reduce your environmental impact:

Get involved in the conversation

The Earth Day Network is hosting live online discussions, chats, and events to get people involved. Learn more about how you can make a difference, be inspired by the work of others creating change for the planet, and contribute your own voice.

Eat local, eat less meat

If you are quarantining and maybe making more homemade meals, it could be a time to consider eating less meat. There are a number of reasons why eating vegetarian has a positive impact on the planet. The production of vegetarian food produces fewer carbon emissions and considerably less water than meat production. By eating vegetarian for just one day a week, you can have a positive impact on the environment.

Another thing to consider is where your food comes from. Whenever possible, it’s best to eat local produce as it has a lower carbon footprint than food that has been shipped internationally.

Drive less

The social and physical distancing recommendations across Canada and around the world have reduced car trips. Many Canadians are now working from home, avoiding their daily commutes by car. (If that’s the case for you, check with your insurance provider to see if you qualify for a reduction in premiums).

Reducing excursions outside of the home may also be reducing short, possibly unnecessary, car trips that add to the bulk of emissions. Going forward, are there ways that you can reduce car trips and lessen the load of your carbon footprint?

Plant trees and flowers for the bees

If you can, planting trees is a great way to get your whole family outside and to reconnect with nature. It’s also a great way to learn more about trees and how deforestation is a risk to the planet. Got a place where you can place some wildflower plants, like a patio or even a windowsill planter? Planting wildflowers is a great way to support nature, and the pollinators that support our ecosystem like bees, butterflies, and even hummingbirds. 

Give to an environmental charity

If you care about protecting the environment and want to support an organization that works to take care of the planet, you could consider giving to one of the many environmental charities in Canada. According to Network for Good’s donation data, the average recurring donor will give 42% more in one year than those who give one-time gifts.

With Charitable Impact, you can set-up a recurring donation straight into your Impact Account, to ensure you have the greatest impact. Charitable Impact is an online giving platform that helps you to create the change you’d like to see in the world. You can sign up for a free account to start giving to the causes that matter most to you.

How do you reduce your environmental impact? We’d love to hear from you, get in touch at @wearechimp.

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