On April 22nd, 1970- the date of the first Earth Day– 20 million people marched for clean air, clean water and improved environmental protections. These actions were designed to draw public attention to the environmental agenda and move environmental issues up the priority list of policy makers. The question is: What will unite us this Earth Day? Today we are well aware of the pressures placed on the environment, and we have perhaps more data and more tools to communicate data than ever before. Launched this week, a new awareness tool, the Plant Doctor Game, aims to reach more people with information about one critical environmental movement- sustainable agriculture– and resources here to help.
At CABI we spend a lot of time researching some of the most extreme challenges facing the environment, and supporting livelihoods that depend on the environment with programmes like Plantwise. Each year the international community celebrates Earth Day on April 22nd, to draw public attention to some of these challenges like climate change, food insecurity, loss of biodiversity, habitat destruction and how we can all play a part in the solution. To raise awareness today, we’d like to share some of our Earth Day stories: tales of ways big and small that we are trying to conserve the Earth’s resources, or what we would like to do this year. Check out our stories below and let us know in the comments, on facebook or twitter one of your stories this Earth Day.
Julia Dennis, Communications Manager Plantwise & CABI Switzerland
“I never knew there was so much wildlife in city parks until I started last year working with the Green Gym in London’s Regents Park. It’s run by The Conservation Volunteers to fix up park space and make it suitable for more species of plants and animals, helping them thrive even in urban spaces. The name is no joke as well- it is an extremely good workout cutting through bramble and planting trees. Ouch!”
Claire Curry, Content Developer
“You can’t beat freshly picked food from the field. We have a small fruit and vegetable plot where we grow a range of crops including apples, tomatoes, raspberries, strawberries, carrots and lettuces. This provides us with great produce using minimal resources as the fruits and vegetables do not have to be packaged or transported – just pick, rinse and eat! The peelings and other garden waste are then recycled into compost, ready to fertilise the next crop.”
Sarah Hilliar, Creative Designer
“In 2006 I spent 4 weeks in the Philippines doing reef conservation work with Coral Cay Conservation. This involved learning 400 fish, coral and invertebrate species and taking part in 3 dives a day on various reefs around the coastline of the Philippines. The highlight was being in the water with whale sharks during one of the dives!”
“I live in a house that loves good food- growing it, cooking it, sharing it and eating. It’s so great to know exactly where your food comes from and how it’s been grown. The shorter the chain from mud to mouth the better.
I have the luxury of growing my own food or buying it. For many subsistence farmers their garden plots are their only choice and the success of their crops can be the difference between food or famine. I first saw poverty 12 years ago and I’ve had a heart to work in food security ever since.”
Emily Palmer, Content Development Assistant
“One of my favourite things about living close to work is walking in and back every day along the Thames. It takes about 35 minutes, so I have lots of time to enjoy the scenic river view, listen to the songbirds and ducks, and get energized for the day. I’ve met lots of people and some very friendly dogs – it’s a great way to get some exercise and reduce my fuel consumption!”
Abigail Rumsey, Content Developer
“My cousin has spent the past seven years boycotting plastics. When you start thinking about this in today’s consumer society, it seems like an impossible task. However, she has managed to cut down to using the bare minimum of plastic wherever possible: making her own beauty products, insisting that supermarkets fill her fabric bags, using refillable bottles for water, and not using disposable stationery. Also, wherever she goes in the world, she documents the plastic rubbish that is ruining scenery and killing animals.”
Take a look at the Plastic Is Rubbish website to find out how you can start to cut plastic out of your life: http://plasticisrubbish.com/