6 Ways You Can
Make Earth Month Matter
While each Earth Day and Earth Month serve as reminders of the worldwide environmental movement’s importance and the imperative responsibility we have as people to protect the earth for future generations, too often organizations and individuals mark the event by sharing kind words for the planet. . .and not much else.
Empty words and gestures don’t mean a thing when it comes to taking action for the planet because committing to taking action isn’t the same as actually taking action. And don’t get us wrong — we love a good march, but since hitting the streets in large crowds isn’t a great option for most of us right now, we need to find ways to make our actions speak as loudly as our collective voices have in the past.
At Cool Effect, we stand by the notion that every small action counts in the fight to save our planet and reduce carbon emissions. So this year, instead of just signing a pledge, changing your profile picture, or sharing a link, we encourage you to join us.
We encourage you to take tangible action for the planet.
We encourage you to Make Earth Month Matter.
Last year demonstrated how much everyone is connected on this planet, and how significant even one simple action can be in making a global impact. From a worldwide pandemic to climate disasters, these events highlight the urgency of slowing climate change and protecting the place where we all live. You may wonder what you can do to help — especially right now — and the answer is quite a lot.
Whether you’re offsetting your footprint, engaging with your elected officials, or just finally swapping out those old light bulbs for some more energy-efficient ones, there are tons of actions you can take right now that can have a real impact on the planet, beyond simple things like recycling and sorting your trash.
1. Feed yourself, and the planet
Consider how the food you eat — and where it comes from — impacts the planet. Eating locally-produced food helps support your community’s economy and it saves on carbon emissions from shipping or importing food. That means eating more seasonal, sustainably grown food from local farms by buying from farmer’s markets or CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture), or even by growing some of your own!
Do what you can to use and eat what you buy, cook or order. Rotting waste in landfills emits methane, and wasting less food also means reducing the resources used to transport food to stores, homes, and businesses. And, be mindful of the plastic waste often associated with food packaging. Recycling has long been a top-of-mind solution for living in a more environmentally-friendly way, but it’s no longer enough! Consider the number of materials that you’re tossing in the recycling bin and figure out a solution or alternative for those. It’s time to cut back on plastic consumption and prioritize reusable materials. Repurpose those leftovers, and save your kitchen scraps or veggies past their prime for your compost pile to help nourish your home garden.
2. Be a virtual climate activist
Use social media to share suggestions and ideas that you learn about sustainability — including purpose-driven brands you may buy from — and how to reduce carbon emissions. Counter disinformation with facts about how the world is impacted by climate change, and offer tools to help your friends and family join your efforts. Get involved in local social and political initiatives aimed at fighting disinformation and public apathy.
Rally your community to take action with you on social media, or download a Zoom background for your next video call to promote the cause. Get your whole company involved! In fact, we’ve created a complimentary Earth Month toolkit you can use to demonstrate your commitment and raise awareness in honor of Earth Month.
3. Rethink your shopping habits
Take a look at your buying habits and consider the impact of shipping online purchases. Help reduce carbon emissions by cutting back on online shopping and shopping locally. If you must shop online, consolidate your orders and group them into single shipments. Mostly, avoid overnight shipping, which drastically increases carbon emissions because it is generally air rather than ground. Remember, too, that “fast fashion,” or cheaply made garments, contribute to the number of fossil fuels burned to produce and ship those products around the globe.
4. Travel better
Most businesses have already reduced their carbon footprint by reducing travel. As Covid-19 restrictions are lifted and we start to move around again, consider easy ways to reduce your impact. Whenever possible, opt for video conferencing instead of traveling for in-person meetings. If we all take one less flight, the cumulative reduction will have a positive impact on the planet. When you do fly, choose airlines that use biofuels and consciously reduce waste from food and drinks. Pack only what you need because the heavier the plane, the more fuel it will burn. Try to take a nonstop flight as the majority of emissions happen during take-off and landing. If you travel by ground, consider public transportation or an electric vehicle.
5. Prioritize energy efficiency
See if the energy provider for your home or business offers 100% or other combinations of renewable energy. Other environmentally-friendly choices that can help save energy include installing solar energy panels for your home or business, making sure to turn off lights when leaving a room, unplugging appliances that are not in use, replacing old windows with energy-efficient alternatives, using less hot water, or swapping old lightbulbs for LEDs.
6. Support high-quality offsets
No matter how much you reduce, some emissions are unavoidable — all we ask is that you do your best, then offset the rest. Cool Effect returns over 90% of each donation directly to our project partners, helping our projects receive compensation for three million tonnes of emission reductions since 2015. To learn more about how to offset your carbon footprint, visit CoolEffect.org. To learn more about how Cool Effect works with businesses and organizations, see CoolEffect.org/for-business.