If you’re near a light switch at 8:30pm tomorrow night, remember to turn it off, at least for an hour.
Starting as a symbolic lights out event in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour is now the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment, inspiring millions of people to take action for our planet and nature.
In celebration of doing more to put less burdon on our planet, there’s also plenty we can do beyond saving energy. Even if you live in an urban area, it’s totally possible to connect to Mother Nature to do her—and yourself—huge favours.
1. Reduce Plastic Use
It’s no secret single-use plastics make life convenient—but they are an environmental killer. When plastic isn’t disposed of properly, it often ends up in the ocean, endangering marine life.
If it does make its way to a refuse site, plastic generally takes hundreds of years to break down. When it’s burnt, poisonous fumes are released—fumes that are bad for people and wildlife.
The solution? Switch to reusable shopping bags, and avoid using plastic plates, utensils and straws. Think about preparing food at home store it in reusable containers.
2. Grow plants
If you’re living in the city and are too busy to look after a pet, flowers and plants are a great alternative. They not only help us feel more connected to nature, plants can also help reduce indoor toxins, such as the off-gassing that comes from furniture, carpets and paints.
Plants such as the bonsai tree are associated with meditation, so can make a calming addition to a backyard haven or inside retreat.
3. Go Hiking
Look for a park, discover a trail or go on an adventure to a national park with your nearest and dearest.
Stepping out into nature is a great way to disconnect from the daily grind for a while. Walk along the beach, feel the sand between your toes and listen to the crash of waves against the seashore. Even if you’re confined to city living, most built up areas have parks and gardens that can make you feel like you’re a world away from high rises and traffic.
4. Eat Sustainably
Did you know bluefin tuna might be overfished, to the point of extinction? Meanwhile, millions of sharks are killed each year to satisfy the demand for shark fin soup. Even if we don’t eat any of these foods, many waste food, which is a drain on the environment’s resources.
You don’t have to go hardcore vegan to make a difference, either. Simply reducing meat intake goes a long way in helping protect the planet. Meat production generates more emissions than crops, which adds to our carbon footprint.
5. Take Action
What better way to #Connect2Earth than at Australia’s most iconic natural wonder? Sign up for Earth Hour now and go into the draw to win a trip—for you and a friend—to the Great Barrier Reef with WWF-Australia and Intrepid Travel. Experience a guided trip packed with once-in-a-lifetime activities, as you cruise up the coast of Australia’s sunshine state.
6. Invest Ethically
Did you know you can choose where your superannuation savings are channeled? Use the power of your pay packet and make sure your dollars are invested in fossil-free funds. Contact your fund to find out how to update your portfolio.