It’s Earth Day tomorrow (22 April), which means two things: the anniversary of the birth of the environmental movement and the signing of the historic Paris Agreement.
Heads of state and political leaders from around the world are set to meet in New York for the ceremonial singing of the Paris climate deal. It must be ratified by at least 55 countries, representing 55 per cent of global emissions in order to enter into force.
Yesterday, the Daily Planet reported how a group of investors worth $24 trillion urged as many world leaders as possible to come to New York and sign the deal, and then fast-track through their national legislative systems so the deal can take effect much sooner than it’s original kick-off date in 2020.
So what can you do to make a difference, and let politicians know you want to see the Paris Agreement implemented ASAP? Here are six fun ways you can get involved in Earth Day!
1. Make a Pledge Board at Home or Work
You could make your own Paris Agreement. Get a whiteboard for your family or co-workers to record their environmental pledges. Ask people to make small changes like:
- Turning the lights off when leaving a room
- Giving up bottled water
- Stop using plastic bags and get a reusable alternative
- Get public transport to work
2. Plant a Tree
In order to send a message to governments that everyone supports the agreement, the UN is asking you to to plant a tree in commemoration of the signing. Take photos and post them on social media with hashtag #Trees4Earth.
3. Hug a Tree
Planting a tree may not be possible for everyone, so alternatively you can engage your inner tree-hugger and give a tree a hug!
The UN hopes to create a buzz on social media around the signing of the Paris Agreement. They’ve got a fun assignment for you: upload a photo of yourself hugging a tree to social media along with your support for the signing and the hashtag #Trees4Earth.
— UN Climate Action (@UNFCCC) April 11, 2016
4. Find a Local Event
The Earth Day website has a useful map to help you locate any events that are going on near you. Can’t find anything? Set one up yourself! You could organise a community clean-up, a crafts event to recycle items or a sustainable food picnic – to just name a few options.
5. Go Paperless
In case you hadn’t noticed: the theme for this year’s Earth Day is trees. Nowadays it’s easy to switch your bills from paper to online. You can go a step further and encourage your workplace to cut down on paper use, print less and use recycled paper.
6. Start a Business
Once Earth Day has finished that doesn’t mean your efforts should too.
If you’ve got an innovative idea that could help tackle climate change why not enter Climate-KIC’s ClimateLaunchpad? Even if you’re idea is still just a scribble on the back of a napkin you can enter, attend the boot camp and learn how to turn your idea into a start-up.
If your idea is good enough you might even win funding and a place in the Climate-KIC Accelerator!
Let us know what you have planned for Earth Day in the comments and make sure to subscribe to get our weekly newsletter.