World Earth Day
In 1970, a massive 10 percent of the American population mobilised as part of the first World Earth Day. Since this time, World Earth Day is held every year on April 22 to demonstrate support for environmental protection. Despite many movements coming to a grinding halt last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 100 million people took action in192 countries as part of World Earth Day’s 50th-anniversary celebrations. The digital infrastructure built to host such a milestone has paved the way for three days of virtual events this week. The world's largest environmental movement is once again set to amass millions of people in the promotion of a more sustainable, healthier, and peaceful world. Its ultimate aim is a zero-carbon future.
The Biden government’s stance on climate change
What makes 2021’s World Earth Day even more remarkable is that it sits parallel to the Biden Administration’s global climate summit. On March 26, the American President invited 40 world leaders to participate in the virtual Leaders Summit on Climate. America also returned to the Paris Agreement, a legally binding international treaty on climate change which the Trump administration exited. The Paris Agreement’s ultimate goal is to reduce carbon emissions in a bid to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Companies hearing the sustainability call
Large corporations and companies can no longer choose to ignore the sustainable demands of consumers. According to new research, nine out of 10 Australian consumers are more likely to purchase ethical and sustainable products. The same study also revealed 85 percent of consumers want retailers and brands to be more transparent about the sustainability of their products. Some of the largest companies in the world have implemented more sustainable practices as consumers demand change. In a bid to become more environmentally friendly, McDonald’s moved to phase out plastic straws last year in Australia. This change might seem small, but it is estimated that Australians use about 10 million straws every day, or 3.5 billion a year. In June 2018, supermarket giants Woolworths and Coles banned all single-use plastic bags from their stores nationwide. It is estimated that each chain gives out 3.2 billion bags a year.
How to create a more sustainable business
There are many different ways you can look to implement more sustainable practices in your workplace. Even the smallest of actions can lead to great change. Take one example like swapping out plastic cups at water-stations or events. Instead, you can gift staff with aluminium drink bottles or use bamboo or paper cups. If your business employs hundreds of staff, this one change can see the reduction in thousands of plastic cups used every year. Here are some easy, but powerful changes you can make in your workplace:
● Implement a recycling program. Having designated bins and a dedicated employee to spearhead this program.
● Conserve energy in the office by switching off lights, computers, and appliances at the end of the working day.
● Gift aluminium water bottles and keep cups for hot drinks. This will not only reduce waste in the office, but it may even see staff carry these habits into their personal lives too.
● Reduce the amount of paper used. It has become all too easy to send correspondence via digital mediums today. Programs like Adobe even let you digitally sign documents. Encourage the digital natives in your office to help those with new software to help reduce the amount of paper used.
What to learn more about World Earth Day? Visit the official website at www.earthday.org