Earth Day is an annual event which began in 1970. It takes place every year on April 22nd, and began as a way for people to express their growing concerns about the state of our environment. Now, as the ravages of climate change become more and more apparent, awareness has become widespread, and the focus has evolved to become about the need for mobilization and action.
Frustrated with the inactivity and low levels of governmental ambition, citizens of the world are demanding far greater action for our planet and its people. Digital and social media outlets are bringing these conversations to global audiences in ways which have not been possible before, uniting concerned individuals and encouraging generations to join together, to take on the global climate crisis.
The climate crisis is one of the greatest challenges we have ever faced, and it can therefore be a daunting topic. Individuals can be made to feel as though they are not making a difference
So, what can you do to help?
Meat free Monday! – Reducing meat consumption can have the largest impact when it comes to reducing our personal carbon footprint, but this alone can be a daunting task for many! With the rise of environmental awareness, there has been an increase in the adoption of a ‘flexitarian’ diet, (or casual vegetarianism). This can be defined as a diet which aims to reduce a person’s carbon footprint, and improve their health, with an eating regime which is mostly plant-based, yet with the flexibility to allow for the occasional meat-based dish. This new way of eating focuses on adding new foods into your diet, rather than eliminating a food group all together. The bottom line is that It doesn’t matter if you are a vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian, the importance is that you are aiming to reduce your meat consumption, and that you are actively making conscious food choices.
“Nearly 15 percent of global greenhouse gases emissions come from the production of meat, dairy and eggs. Livestock production produces more greenhouse gases than the world’s entire transportation sector — cars, trucks, planes trains — combined. The majority of those emissions come from cattle in the beef and dairy sector. The emissions associated with producing one quarter pound of beef is about the equivalent of driving a car seven miles or charging a smartphone for six months. Shifting towards plant-based diets would help reduce emissions associated with meat production. For example, a plant-based burger has a carbon footprint twelve times smaller than a beef burger.”
Reduce, reuse, recycle! This is a well-used phrase, but that does not mean it isn‘t effective! Individuals can make a huge difference when it comes to recycling their own waste, and making conscious consumer decisions.
“Every time you spend money, you are casting a vote for the kind of world that you want.”
If consumers actively avoid products with unnecessary packaging, or single-use plastics, then the companies will actively seek to change their products and packaging to meet these new demands. Similarly, shopping second hand clothing, or choosing clothes stores which offer a sustainable range will reduce clothing waste. The creation of clothing creates a huge amount of waste water and chemical waste.
Shop local– Similarly to the point above, it is important to support locally sourced produce in order to reduce the carbon footprint of our foods and other goods. Practice mindful consumption in order to avoid being drawn in by low pricing and intense advertising tactics.
Education is one of the greatest tools we have. You can aid this global movement by increasing your own awareness, and the awareness of those around you.
Here at Industrial Personnel, we are actively aiming to reduce our carbon footprint by removing single-use plastics from the office, instead offering our staff free reusable water bottles. We also aim to cut down our paper waste, and are trialling meat-free Mondays within the office- with one of our Divisional Managers leading the way being a vegetarian for over 20 years!
Do you have any tips for leading a more sustainable life, or a favourite Veggie/Vegan recipe to share with our team for meat-free Mondays?