Earth Day 2024: Five Ways you can put People and the Planet First

Earth Day 2024: Five Ways you can put People and the Planet First
24 avril 2024

Join the Movement

On 22nd April, individuals from all walks of life come together in a global effort to progress climate action and sustainability, marking the annual celebration of Earth Day.

This year, organisers of Earth Day are calling for widespread climate education as an integral step forward in the journey to fight climate change. Bryce Coon, Director of Education for Earth Day, emphasises how just a spark of global momentum can propel forward our efforts to address climate change, now and in the near future, by promoting behaviour change in the next generation.

Whether you represent a global organisation or a local consumer, each of us has a part to play. From fighting fast fashion to hosting a clean-up, we have put together a small but mighty list of actions you can take to put people and planet first.

1: Fight Fast Fashion

Fashion is regarded as a reflection of culture. But what does it say about our current culture when the impacts of fashion can ravage our environment and endanger our own lives? It seems one of the fastest things about ‘fast fashion’ is the speed in which we reach a moral and ethical dead end.

The fast fashion industry operates on a “race to the bottom” model to produce the largest number of garments at the smallest price. With cheap production, lowered costs and an implicit yet superficial and dangerous pressure from society to constantly consume clothing, the facts behind fast fashion are staggering:

  • Every year, 100 billion garments are produced.
  • From 100 billion garments, 87% end up in landfills or incinerators and only 1% is recycled.
  • Sixty nine per cent of clothes are made from crude oil and washing them accounts for 35% of microplastics in the ocean.

Our relationship with fashion must change. We must divorce the unsustainable ideology of hyperconsumption that many of us possess and fashion a better world by embracing slow style, celebrating handmade artistry and being connected to the makers of our products.

Here’s how:

You can thrift

‘Thrifting’ or charity shopping is a great way to give a new lease of life to our clothes. By donating your unwanted clothes, you will create space in your home, support charities and help the planet. By buying from charity shops, you will also be helping the planet, as well as finding unique and vintage styles at a very fair price.

You can support Shared Interest

Shared Interest uses the investments of our members to transform the lives of farmers and craftspeople across the globe. Ethical fashion retailers such as Mata Traders and Allpa are examples of two buyer customers we support with fair finance.

Mata Traders work with member-owned women’s co-operatives and artisan groups that follow Fair Trade Principles. By bringing traditional fabrics to a global audience, they support the family businesses of weavers and block printers throughout India and Nepal whose livelihoods have been threatened by the shift of textile production to the factory. We have supported Mata Traders with finance since 2010.

You can purchase Mata Traders products here:

You can learn more about Mata Traders here

Meanwhile, Allpa are Peruvian artisans specialising in jewellery, textiles, ceramics and wood. Allpa has benefited from an export credit facility with Shared Interest since 2014. As less than 10% of Allpa sales are local, Shared Interest finance is a lifeline for the organisation.

You can purchase Allpa products here:

You can learn more about Allpa here

You can sign Earth Day’s petition

Take a brief moment to sign this online petition to demand political action and create regulations to protect the environment and our health against the crises posed by the fast fashion industry.

Sign the Petition

2: Take Part in plastic Detox Challenge

Plastic has been a priceless invention for humans (and even elephants, as explained in the link below!) but our relationship with plastic is complex. You can find out more about it here:

The team behind the Earth Day campaign invite you to take part in the Plastic Detox challenge. Reduce your plastic use, save the planet and have some fun in the process!

Take small steps to avoid single-use plastics like bags, straws, bottles, and packaging. Share your eco-friendly swaps and inspire others to join the movement on social media using #PlasticDetox.

Take Part

Sign the Global Plastics Treaty

Plastic pollution is a global issue that destroys environments, diminishes biodiversity, increases global warming, and harbours immense potential to impact human health. Through this petition, we seek to mobilize global action to counteract plastic pollution and its far-reaching consequences.

Click the button below to find out more about the petition and take action.

Sign the Petition

4: Plant Trees

Since the beginning of the 20th century, the world’s forests have lost about 20% of their coverage - about 18 million acres - every year. The Earth Day campaign has developed its Canopy Project to address this issue in collaboration with global partners.

This project involves reforesting areas in desperate need of rehabilitation, including areas around the world with some of the communities that are most at-risk from climate change, such as the many communities Shared Interest supports in Africa and Latin America. Since 2010, EARTHDAY.ORG™ has planted tens of millions of trees with The Canopy Project.

Click the button below to find out more about this project and help to continue this crucial work.

Support the Canopy Project

5: Join the Great Global Clean-up!

Getting involved in a clean-up or hosting your own clean-up is incredibly rewarding. Watch the areas you know and love become transformed through your very own generosity and dedication. Make friends and meet like-minded change-makers with this community-driven initiative.

This Earth Day, take part in this fun and easy way to amplify your impact by hosting your very own clean-up event or finding a clean-up near you – there are dozens to be found across the UK! Click the button below to find out more.

Join or Host a Clean-up

Invest in a Fairer World

We hope you’ve enjoyed discovering new ways you can protect and preserve our precious home this  Earth Day. Our environmental legacy is a testament to the power of collective action, and it calls upon individuals, businesses, governments, and the private sector to join hands in safeguarding our planet. Thank you for fighting for a thriving future for all. 

Please share this article if you found this helpful and support our work by opening or growing a Share Account with us so we can continue delivering vital finance and support to fair trade producers around the world.

Support our Work

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