Phil on Earth Day 2017
Earth Day is here again, this Saturday 22 April 2017. A reminder that we only have one planet to live on and that we need to pay attention to how we take care of it.
Astronomers say there may be a habitable planet about 39 light years away circling around a dwarf star in the constellation of Cetus. But we won’t be swapping earths anytime soon. The hard truth is, there’s no one else out there creating the environmental degradation– it’s you and me baby!
Our challenge this Earth Day, as stewards of our city, country and planet, is to take real and lasting actions to reduce our environmental impact. Every choice we make has consequences, so being informed is the first small step to making a difference. This year’s Earth Day is focused on environmental literacy so here are some practical suggestions for you to learn what, why and how to save this precious earth we call home.
- Get involved: Indulge your curiosity by learning about environmental issues such as climate change, and inspirational solutions, such as clean rivers, electric vehicles or renewable energy. Check out our library for interesting reading and watching, attend events, have a debate night with friends, book your kids onto a workshop, research online – whatever you do, actively educate yourself and share your new knowledge widely.
- Know what your actual impact is: It’s very easy to calculate your personal impact – and information is the first step to reducing it. An average Kiwi’s carbon emissions are around 18 tonnes a year. This needs to drop to around 2 tonnes a year to get the world healthy. At Sustainability Trust we use Catalyst’s Annual Carbon Emissions (ACE) Calculator, and offset our emissions with Ekos and local carbon credits sourced from Southland forests. Everything counts – so how can you reduce yours?
- Reduce-Reduce-Reduce: Do everything you can to limit or reduce your environmental impact. Eat less meat and dairy (or none at all!). Walk, cycle, swim. Drive an electric car. Reuse, recycle, compost. Make a warm, energy-efficient home with long life ceiling and underfloor insulation, LED lights, good quality fitted curtains, double glazing (or cheaper alternatives like window film), use water wisely – do everything you can to get that energy use and power bill down.
- Invest and divest: Make sure you invest in climate friendly companies. Put simply, the more money that is behind the right causes will help balance out the markets long term. We recommend investing in renewable energy generators such as Meridian, Mighty River Power, wind turbine and solar manufacturers, and not buying into environmentally harmful industries such as fossil fuel companies or agriculture (especially dairy).
- There’s an election coming up: This September we’re back at the polls. Make sure that you vote for candidates with robust environmental credentials. Do your research, attend meetings, ask questions, write letters, sign petitions. Whoever makes it in to government, let them know that the environment counts.
As a local grassroots organisation, Sustainability Trust is engaged in practical action across the Wellington region. We are so enthusiastic that our community across New Zealand can and are making steps in the right direction. Earth Day 2017 provides us with a strong reminder that we need to take action, both personally and by helping ensure large decision makers play their part too.
If we can help you in any way, please give us a call on 0508 78 78 24.
Comments are closed