On Thursday 22 April it’s Earth Day, an awareness day to encourage us to protect our planet for ourselves and future generations. This year is the 50th anniversary of the event and the theme is to ‘Restore Our Earth’. In this blog, we share some ideas you can do as a family to do just that!
The official Earth Day charity are asking people to take part in local clean-ups and you can find your nearest organised one by visiting their website. If you can’t attend an official event, why not do something locally? Just remember some safety rules when litter picking, such as wearing gloves, using a litter picker tool – and maintaining social distancing of course.
There are lots of other ways to do your bit at home with your kids too to show your support and help restore our earth.
There’s so much more we can recycle these days and even better, a lot of councils provide you with one bin so you don’t have to separate it all – great for busy family life! Here are a few top tips to teach the kids when it comes to recycling packaging:
- Check before you recycle
Check what items you can put in your recycling bin, as many items wrongly end up in recycling bins when they should be taken to your local household waste and recycling centre. If you’re not sure what can go in, check your local council’s website.
- Make sure recycling is empty, clean and dry
You don’t need to sterilise packaging but make sure it’s free from food residue so it doesn’t contaminate other materials. Why not task your brood with rinsing plastic tubs and leave them to dry before placing them into the recycling bin?
- Remove plastic film
Plastic film can’t be recycled, and it can get tangled in the machinery at recycling facilities. Make sure you remove plastic film from bottles, plastic pots, tubs and trays before recycling them.
- Keep a recycling container in the house
If you keep a smaller container in the house, near to your general bin, it might encourage you and your kids to use it more often. Then you can take all of the recycling outside to the big bin in batches.
Many supermarkets have stations where you can drop off unwanted clothes, used batteries, glass bottles and paper, and a lot of charities provide door-step collections for old clothes and bric-a-brac that are in good condition.
Reducing food waste
According to the latest figures, in the UK, we waste 6.7 million tonnes of food per year. This totals costs of £10.2 billion each year, and £250-£400 per household per year.
Some of this happens in the supply chain before it’s even reached our households, but there are things we can do to help reduce food waste.
Friends of the Earth has lots of ideas to help reduce food waste from meal planning, helping us understand the difference between ‘use by’ and ‘best before’, learning to love leftovers and ideas for recycling and composting food waste. Or why not try one of these family-friendly recipes from Love Food, Hate Waste?
Keeping the air clean
It’s been over a year now since we went into our first lockdown in the UK due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and as this happened the levels of some harmful pollutants in the air dropped significantly.
According to a survey by the British Lung Foundation of 14,000 people with lung conditions, found one in five parents saying their child’s condition had been alleviated, particularly those suffering from asthma.
So what can we do to keep the air clean now lockdown restrictions are easing again? With many parents still working from home, simple things like walking or cycling to school can help and with less traffic on the roads you may also feel safer doing this with your children. Walking to the shops and finding family activities to do on your doorstep can also make a big difference.
Choose clothes that last
According to WRAP, an estimated £140m of clothing is sent to landfill in the UK every year and demand for raw materials for the textiles industry is set to triple by 2050. Attitudes are beginning to change though towards fast fashion.
We’re playing our part by looking to create garments that have a better impact on the planet. Find out more about how Trutex play a part here.
Don't forget to take a look at our ECO themed activity pack too!