This year’s Earth Day will see people around the world come together to campaign for the protection of the environment.

Environmentalists everywhere will be marking the day like usual, but this year’s Earth Day is going to be more important than ever, since it’ll see the signing of the Paris climate agreement. One thing people won’t be doing, however, is turning their lights off for an hour. That’s Earth Hour, an entirely different awareness-raising event, which is organised by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), rather than the Earth Day Network.

The politicians signing the Paris Agreement at the UN headquarters in New York will be doing their bit, but what can you actually do to help the environment on Earth Day? Here’s some suggestions.

Recycle your printer cartridges

According to current statistics, only 5% of empty toner cartridges are currently recycled, leaving the majority ending up in landfill sites, where it can take over 1,000 years to decompose.  If everyone in the world lived like we do in the UK, we would need 8 Earths to satisfy our resource needs. Recycling helps minimise our impact on the earth.

The free planitgreen Recycling Scheme focuses on Reuse and Recycling for printer cartridges and we accept all printer laser and ink cartridges. We cannot currently recycle broken cartridges, toner bottles or ribbon cartridges.  We will arrange for a courier to collect your empty cartridges free of charge and also supply a new collection box in order to help you continue to planitgreen.

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

Dame Jane Morris Goodall

British Primatologist

Finally start carrying a bag for life

The law which requires large businesses to charge 5p for carrier bags came into effect in England in December last year, but it’s been in place in Wales since 2011, in Scotland since 2014, and in Northern Ireland since 2013.

However, many people still accept them when buying goods at smaller shops, which aren’t subject to the laws, and some of us just haven’t got into the habit of carrying a reusable bag yet.

Earth Day is a good day to start using one. In 2014, British shoppers used 8.5 billion single-use carrier bags, which used up huge amounts of energy and materials in their production and transport. Many of these bags also became litter, or ended up in landfill sites, where they take centuries to break down.

Reusing a bag a few times, or buying a sturdier one which will last longer, is a great way to cut down on unnecessary waste.

Get a bike

It’s been said before that some of the major problems facing the Western world – pollution, climate change and obesity – could be solved if we all just started cycling a bit more.

It’s obviously not feasible to swap your car for your bike completely, but if you live in a built-up area, it’s often the quickest (and most fun) way to get around.

A King’s College London study found that 9,416 people died earlier than they should have in the capital in 2009 due to air pollution – swapping the tube for a bike could help end the crisis.

Reuse your plastic bottles

Plastic bottles are the new plastic bags. They’re everywhere, very rarely recycled, and they don’t biodegrade. Buying a reusable bottle and filling it from the tap will not only save you money, it’ll help save the environment.

Start thinking more about your carbon footprint

In an always-connected world, it’s impossible to live without consuming energy. But by just being more aware of your individual impact, you can make small changes to reduce your carbon footprint – by turning off lights when you leave a room, keeping your home insulated, and unplugging unnecessary appliances.

There’s even apps that can help you out – Johnnie Walker (yes, the whisky company) have made the Earth Mode Chrome extension, which tracks your internet use and shows you how much energy you’ve consumed. And if you feel guilty, they’ll plant trees to offset the impact.

 

Extracts of this article are taken from Doug Bolton’s Telegraph article

 


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