On 22nd April 1970, millions of people took to the streets to protest the negative impacts of 150 years of industrial development. At the time, smog was becoming deadly and there was increasing evidence of the negative effects of pollution. Environment awareness was growing and people wanted change.
Now, Earth day is a global event, with more than 1 billion people in 192 countries now taking part in what is the largest environmental focused day of action in the world. This year, the focus is on mobilising the world to end plastic pollution, including creating support for a global effort to eliminate single-use plastics along with global regulation for the disposal of plastics.
#360 for the planet
As a registered B Corporation, and now a member of 1% for the planet, we care deeply about the lasting effect we have on the planet. Earth Day is a day of mobilisation but one day is not enough.
This month, we have been joining in with the month-long Earth Month campaign, #360fortheplanet, led by 1% for the planet, raising awareness for the health of the planet and how we can all come together to ‘turn this thing around’.
More than one month for the planet
Of course, while this campaign is a great way to raise awareness, we need to consider our everyday actions and what we can do as a business, and as individuals, to have a positive impact on the world.
You can learn more about our measurable sustainability goals, and the positive actions we’re taking towards these on our mission and values page.
Reducing plastic pollution
When it comes to this year’s theme of reducing plastic pollution, we are proud to be taking positive steps towards this, with a particular focus on reducing ocean plastic. In the past year, we have:
- Worked with Ecover to create a new website for their Ocean Bottle, to raise awareness of the issue
- Taken part in Surfers Against Sewage (SAS)’s beach cleans
- Become members of SAS’ 250 Club, to further support their work in turning the tide on plastic pollution.
- Avoid using plastic water bottles by bringing our own refillable bottles/using cups or glasses at home and in the office
- Avoid using disposable coffee cups – the team were all issued with re-usable coffee cups this year to help with this!
- Avoid purchasing products that use plastic packaging wherever possible
- Keen gardener and Wholegrain Project Manager Adam Leone has reduced the plastic he uses in his garden, and shares his tips over on his blog, Carrot Tops
- Team Genie Rachael is a Refill London volunteer, recruiting businesses across London as Refill Stations, empowering them to offer free tap water to tackle plastic pollution.
If you’d like to learn more about plastic pollution and its effect on our oceans, there is a great quiz over on the Earth Day website, where you can test your knowledge and learn new facts about global plastic consumption (although the quiz is U.S focused) and its impact on marine life.
Let’s turn this thing around, together
There are lots of small ways you can reduce your personal impact on the earth, with a focus on plastic pollution. You can:
- Stop using plastic straws
- Take part in an SAS beach clean
- Always carry your own re-usable bags
- Use a refillable water bottles instead of buying water, and sign up on the Refill website to find businesses near you who are happy for your to refill your water bottles with tap water
- Avoid using disposable cups and cutlery by carrying your own re-usables
- Avoid buying products that use plastic packaging wherever possible
- Become a member (business or individual) of 1% for the planet and pledge 1% of your annual business profits or personal income to support environmental nonprofit organisations.
If we all work together, through earth month and beyond, we can be the change we want to see, and turn this thing around.
How are you reducing your impact on the earth this month (and beyond)? Let us know in the comments of any changes you’re making so we can celebrate with you!