According to Sir David Attenborough, 8 million tons of plastic finds its way into the ocean each year. With plastic pollution on the rise and fast fashion lining our high streets, World Earth Day aims to spread awareness about the dangers of living an unsustainable life.

First founded in 1970, World Earth Day gives power and recognition to the world’s longest and most important battle, the battle to save the future of our planet. For one day every year, world climate leaders, grassroots activists and nonprofit innovators come together to push us towards an environmentally friendly future.

In aid of World Earth Day 2021, estimated to be celebrated in over 190 countries, we have collated 5 easy eco-swaps that you can make this April for a plastic-free, sustainable future. Join the millions in reducing our planet’s silent emergency by following these simple sustainability-boosting steps.

  1. Finish with Fast Fashion

From t-shirts to trousers, our high street continues to swap in and out garments as they battle to keep up with the latest fashion trends. As we see new clothes lining display windows each season, it’s easy to forget the environmental implications of fast fashion production.

As the second most polluting manufacturing industry, closely behind oil, large clothing manufacturers are pressured to speed up production time and reduce costs to continue to serve the ever-changing fashion scene. Often crafted with toxic textile dyes and an estimated 2,700 litres of water to make a single shirt, it’s no wonder that fast fashion production remains near the top of the leaderboard in the competition of the world’s largest polluter.

But how can you reduce it? Finishing with fast fashion can be challenging when we are surrounded by cheap and affordable styles both online and along the high street. If you’re looking to reduce unsustainable manufacturing and shrink your carbon footprint, opt for ethical fashion alternatives, such as vintage stores, charity shops and local eco-friendly manufacturers. Watch your individuality stand out from the crowd and enjoy contributing to the war on waste.

  1. Go Plastic Free

As plastic pollution continues to wreak havoc in our oceans, reducing your plastic footprint has never been more important. As demonstrated by the graph below, some of the world’s largest manufacturing brands such as Coca-Cola and Nestle produce over a million metric tonnes of plastic waste annually, contributing to ocean and landfill pollution due to their unsustainable packaging methods.

plastic free stats
(Source: Statista)

Making a simple swap to a zero-waste alternative for your favourite plastic-based products is an easy way to reduce your plastic footprint and contribute to cleaning up the ocean. Whether it’s a reusable coffee cup or an entirely plastic-free kitchen, new eco-brands dominating the modern high street have never made it easier to become more sustainable.

  1. Upcycle and Reuse

For most, it is impossible to remove all plastic-based products from your household. Amongst your favourite beauty products and plastic-based utilities, immediately banishing all unsustainable items from your house is waste in itself.

With the average plastic bottle taking up to 450 years to decompose, the reuse and recycle movement is a must-do for a newly waste-free household. For an ultimate zero-waste approach, reuse plastic bottles, beauty packaging and food containers as a pose to throwing them away. Plastic can make a durable storage material for produce and your favourite products. By reusing and upcycling your plastic leftovers, you can save both your pocket and the planet.

Better still, upcycling can be applied to more than just plastic waste. Why not revamp your older clothes to create a new style and save your frames so they can be paired with future vintage styles.

  1. Cut Your Carbon footprint

Our carbon footprints continue to contribute to global warming. Whether you’re a frequent traveller or an energy-wasting offender, many of our daily actions add to the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Taking one small step to reduce your carbon footprint can easily become one big step towards repairing climate change.

For example, research by Lund University and the University of British Columbia proposed that going carless for one year could save 2.6 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, which is the equivalent of a long haul flight.

If your lifestyle allows it, opting for public transport or better still biking and walking could heavily improve your carbon footprint and reduce the harmful emissions that continue to pollute the environment.

  1. Educate and Inform

Quite possibly the most important sustainable solution for an environmentally kinder future is your voice. As World Earth Day continues to raise awareness about the impacts of plastic waste, mass production and greenhouse gas emissions, simply listening does not contribute towards healing the planet.

For the true eco-warriors, using your voice is the most important tool to utilise when faced with an environmental emergency. Use social media platforms to spread awareness, educate your children from a young age and help inspire a future generation of planet protectors.