22 Apr 2024
Earth Day 2024: Living sustainably at EVC

The first Earth Day took place in 1970, and since then, it has become an internationally recognised day dedicated to honouring our planet and bringing awareness to the threats it faces.  

This year, the theme is ‘Planet vs Plastics’. One way or another, the dangers of our plastic consumption have been made clear to us. Waste created from plastic can take anywhere from 20 to 500 years to biodegrade, and this poses a serious threat to all living creatures on Earth.  

Each of us have a responsibility to reduce our plastic consumption and make small changes in our everyday lives, that together, can make a big difference. It can be easy to get lost in the contradicting (and often rather doom and gloom) opinions around what’s ‘best’ to do. But, by spending some time learning the basics around acting sustainably, you can minimise your impact on the environment (and expand your knowledge!). 

We asked our sustainability champions at EVC for some of their top tips on how to protect the planet from plastics and other harmful pollutants this Earth Day - and every day after! 

Switch up your travel: 

An obvious one, but whether it’s a trip to the shop or your commute, think twice about driving if you’re able to (even if you have an EV!). Are you able to walk or ride your bike? Fresh air and moving your body are also great for your wellbeing! Or, if you have a long commute, can you take turns car sharing or use public transportation? These small changes can have a big impact.  

Check your recycling: 

Many of us are guilty of chucking anything that looks recyclable into the recycling bin – but looks can be deceiving. If a non-recyclable item somehow finds its way into the recycling process, it can cause a whole host of problems – including reduced efficiency, equipment damage, and contamination of actual recyclables. Take the extra 5 seconds to check if and how you can recycle something, to ensure everything ends up in the right place. For example – make use of your local council green collection service to ensure green waste doesn’t go to landfill.  

Buy second hand: 

Shopping second hand is a great way to save money and the environment – especially if you shop locally! It saves emissions produced through transport of goods and prevents items from going to landfill unnecessarily. You can buy all sorts of things second hand, including books, tech, home and garden equipment, toys... the list goes on.  

Avoid fast fashion: 

When shopping for clothes, it can sometimes be tempting to go for all the latest trends. But the transport and washing of synthetic (fast fashion) clothing accounts for up to 35% of all microplastic in the ocean – so by cutting down on buying these materials, you’ll be protecting the ocean and all the wildlife it contains from these harmful materials. As an alternative, charity shops and sites like Vinted often have high quality, unique pieces that will last longer AND save you money in the long run! 

Start a garden project this summer: 

As we mentioned earlier, getting outside is a great way to boost our health and wellbeing. Why not start a garden project this summer – some of the ideas from our team included growing your own fruit and veg, and building a small pond to attract and nurture wildlife! 

Last but not least... switch to an electric car! 

Road travel in the UK emits over 90 million tonnes of carbon dioxide and is the largest emitting sector of greenhouse gas emissions. The sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles is set to be banned in the UK in 2035, making electric vehicles the way forward. If you’re able to make the switch, it’s a no brainer! Electric vehicles emit 0 carbon emissions whilst running and are a much greener option for the planet.  

Other quick tips: 

  • Buy a reusable water bottle / coffee cup 
  • Donate unwanted clothes and shoes to charity 
  • Use cloths for cleaning up spills rather than kitchen roll 
  • Re-fillables! For food, cosmetics, toiletries etc...  
  • Opt for glass rather than plastic containers for food 

Through these small but significant changes, we can unite and make our planet a better, safer place to be – for us and all living creatures!