Earth Day 2022: how you can make a difference

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Earth Day is a day for showing appreciation for our planet

22 April marks World Earth Day, which is a day dedicated to appreciating the world around us, and taking action to safeguard its future. Whether you’re heading on a walk to get into nature, trying to reduce carbon emissions in your lifestyle, or just looking to make small changes – there are some easy steps you can take.

Beauty

Inside the May/June issue of the magazine, sustainability columnist Jo Linehan gives some excellent insight into making your beauty routine a more planet-friendly one. Whether it means ditching cotton pads for reusable ones, switching to a greener makeup brand, or choosing a sunscreen thats kind to the ocean – there are loads of little things you can do to make beauty better.

According to hair company Klorane, and research by Duraconsult, using a dry shampoo just once a week in lieu of a full wash can save up to 500 litres of water a year! They have also launched a shampoo bar, which eradicates the need for plastic bottles – and saves you space in the shower. This small but mighty shampoo bar is an eco-friendly designed alternative to liquid shampoo, using less water in its production and 97% less packaging.

Klorane’s mango shampoo bar, €13

You can find shampoo bars in Lush, Boots, and a range of local pharmacies. It’s not all about buying new things, either. You can easily conserve water while you do things like brush your teeth, or shave, or wash your face. Turning the tap off while you’re doing the activity at hand can save gallons of water each day. Take a shorter shower, where possible, and keep those baths for when you really need to destress.

Food

In honour of Earth Day, food waste app Too Good to Go commissioned a survey that found that nearly 2/3 of Irish adults aren’t aware that fighting food waste is the number one solution to fighting climate change (Project Drawdown). Food waste accounts for 10% of greenhouse gases, which is a whopping 4% more than even the aviation industry. Too Good to Go launched in Dublin last year, before expanding to Cork and Galway. With the app, you can bag delicious food at a discount that would otherwise go to waste.

To keep food waste to a minimum at home, try planning and cooking ahead and freezing anything you won’t get around to eating just yet.

Tech

Apps like Too Good to Go are great for helping us plan for a greener future, and there are countless others that are sure to make a difference. With the world at our fingertips, you can easily pick up new skills for upcycling things you own, extending their lifetime. You can buy and rent secondhand clothes on Depop or Vinted. The Earth Hero app helps you calculate, track and then reduce your carbon footprint.

Even social media has a part to play. This Earth Day, Meta (responsible for Instagram and Facebook) have rolled out extra fundraising tools. On Instagram, users can easily add fundraisers to their Reels and video content, which will allow viewers to donate directly.

You can use Instagram Reels to raise money

There’s also Facebook’s Climate Science Centre, which has features like highlighting everyday actions people can take and showcasing new data that shows country-level emissions. Plus, you can shop secondhand on Facebook Marketplace!

And what better way to celebrate Earth Day than with a quote from David Attenborough himself:

It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty, the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living.