The publication of Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” in 1962 marked a watershed moment in our planet’s history, raising public awareness and concern for our environment, our wildlife and the links between pollution and human health.
The emerging shift in public consciousness and societal values was provided a voice during the first Earth Day in 1970. Since its inception, Earth Day has marked important environmental events, including the signing of the 2015 Paris Agreement.
This year the theme for Earth Day is ‘Restore our Earth’ bringing focus to climate change mitigation and actions we can take to restore our planet’s ecosystems. Earth Day 2021 brings an opportunity to galvanize political action; the US President is hosting a virtual global summit at the White House to encourage world leaders to make pledges to cut carbon emissions by 2030. Later in the year the UK will be hosting COP26, another vital political moment.
However, as well as having an environmental focus, Earth Day also provides a platform to discuss equity, climate justice and inequality. Climate change is a planetary emergency and while sustainable development can at times seem overwhelming or insurmountable, we all as individuals have the agency to bring change.
There is a quote by Anna Lappe which in this year of climate action seems especially poignant: “every time you spend money you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want”.
The choices we make as consumers can make a difference. Be more conscious of what you buy and its environmental impact, for example a single cotton t-shirt has up to 2,700 litres of water embedded in its production (waterwise.org.uk/save-water)! Switch to a renewable energy provider if your circumstances allow. Engage with politics, register to vote, and hold your MP to account.
You can check out some of our previous blogs for other great sustainable living tips here.
While we all have different circumstances and challenges, we can all take steps towards a more sustainable future together.