This year’s theme for Earth Day is Invest In Our Planet. The word “invest” is often associated with money. However, to invest also means "to devote (one’s time, effort, or energy) to a particular undertaking with the expectation of a worthwhile result”. Therefore investing in our planet can take many shapes and forms. Read on to discover ways to invest in our planet either with your dollar or for free, using your time, energy, and effort to fight for Mother Earth.
You might have heard that 100 companies contribute to 71% of the world’s emissions. Reading stats like this are certainly depressing and can make you feel disempowered, as though your individual actions won't make much of a difference. And trust us, we understand. But we'd like to push back against this defeatist mentality. Instead, we dare you to see your actions as a first spark to starting a raging fire – your actions can inspire another person, which then inspires another, followed by a community, and so on.
Now is our moment to take action, together. In the words of the Earth Day Group, “we need to act (boldly), innovate (broadly), and implement (equitably)” and we don't have time to waste.
As your ally in this urgent fight, we wanted to share a few ideas to help you get started and create that first spark. Together, we can invest in our planet for a brighter future.
How to invest in the planet with your dollar:
Support eco-friendly brands
As consumers we have tremendous influence through our purchasing habits. Businesses produce millions of tons of waste a year, and many do so without any consideration for how it affects our planet.
Before spending your hard-earned money, do your research and boycott companies that pollute our planet. Instead, shop sustainably and choose eco-friendly alternatives. In the process, we can push businesses, and whole industries, to change their harmful practices while allowing businesses that are advocating for a better future to thrive.
1% For The Planet
1% for the Planet is a global network of businesses, individuals and nonprofit organizations tackling our planet's most pressing environmental issues. All you have to do is purchase from the associated businesses and then they will donate 1% of their profits to environmental NGOs. Alternatively, you can join as an individual member by contributing 1% of your annual salary to NGOs and/or voluntary support.
Donate to NGOs that focus on sustainability and eco-friendly initiatives
Donations enable charities and NGOs to turn their ideas into reality. If you don’t have the time to volunteer, consider donating to the environmental charity or NGO of your choice. One tip from a Nebia team member is to incorporate charitable donations into your monthly budget. This will help you allocate a certain amount of money every month to your favorite cause.
Reduce your consumption
To reduce your consumption, buy products that last longer or need to be replaced less frequently. Sometimes these products come with a higher price, but they are worth it in the long run. Reducing your consumption can also involve a change of lifestyle and consumer habits. Where in your life can you reduce the amount of waste you generate?
How to invest in the planet for free:
Research and educate yourself (and others)
The more you learn about sustainability and climate action, the more you can understand and address the impacts of climate change. Through education you empower yourself, as well as anyone you share your knowledge with. It is particularly important to teach children about climate change as their decisions will be critical for the future of our planet.
The Earth Day website is a great resource for information and updates on the environment, as well as climate action. You can also check out this blog post for more resources.
Volunteer and participate in local earth-friendly initiatives
Volunteering is a very rewarding way to help our planet as you can often see the immediate effects of your actions. Find out what events are happening in your area and get involved in beach clean ups, tree planting, etc. And if your town doesn't have earth-friendly initiatives, start them yourself!
Get your coworkers and company involved
Use your voice within your place of employment to push for more sustainable practices like the implementation of recycling bins, increasing paperless operations, starting a carpooling initiative, etc. You could also ask your company to support environmental charities and/or organize planet-friendly events such as taking a day to plant trees in your community.
Keep abreast of the conversations happening within your communities and when it comes time to vote make sure to investigate your local politicians' environmental policies. For more tips on how to choose an eco-focused politician in future elections, click here.
Re-use and Upcycle
Before buying something new, first see if you have something that can be reused and upcycled. We often have so many things at home that can be repurposed. Here are some of our favorite items to reuse:
- Candle jars and glass jars (e.g. old jam jars, pasta sauce jars) - If you soak them in warm water and scrub the labels off these jars are great for storing things such as cotton buds or using as drinking glasses. The possibilities are endless!
- Old plastic bags - Why buy garbage bags when you can use old plastic bags?
- Clothing - Organize a clothing swap with your friends. Something you don't wear anymore could become their new favorite article of clothing, and vice versa!
Remember, there is no “right” way to invest in our planet and any eco-friendly action is a step in the right direction. It’s all about doing the things that are within your means and are fulfilling for you.
Whether you're using your dollar, your time, energy, or effort, you have the potential to spark change and, in doing so, create a more sustainable future.
Happy Earth Day!