Help the planet from home on Earth Day

Climate change still represents the biggest challenge to the future of humanity and the life-support systems that make our world habitable, even as the world faces the COVID-19 crisis. 

On 22 April, we will mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, which is going digital this year - you can join in online for 24 hours of action. 

The world was not prepared for the novel coronavirus. But we still have time to respond — in every part of the world — to the climate crisis.

Earth Day Network’s mission is to diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide.

You can tune in to Earth Day online on April 22 and join a digital event from across the globe. 

Earth Day 2020

Take action for the planet by volunteering for Earth Day - sign up to the newsletter for ways to volunteer. 

UNSW Estate Management is focused on making our campuses more efficient and sustainable on campus, and we can do our part at home, off-campus. 

This Earth Day, let's explore opportunities we can take in our homes and our lives to be more eco-friendly. 

There are so many ways to make positive changes for the environment as we stay home and practice physical distancing.

Here are a few easy actions to get you started, and then it’s up to you t turn these into habits that last far beyond Earth Day.

  • Join the world’s largest global citizen science effort to protect our planet by taking the Earth Challenge 2020. Download Earth Challenge app from App Store or Google play and join millions of global citizens to gather critical environmental data near you.
  • Take Earth Day daily challenge, a 22-day series that will allow people to connect through challenges to take action right now, and every day, for our planet. Each challenge will be posted on Earth Day Network’s social media channels (@earthdaynetwork). You can get involved by following the channels and adding their actions with the hashtags #EarthDay2020 and #EARTHRISE.
  • When you’re not working, do a puzzle, read a book or play a board game. Turn off your computer when you're away from it for a long period of time; you’ll get a mental break from your screens and save some money on your energy bill at the same time.
  • Switch your appliances off at the wall socket. Appliances on standby can account for 10% of your energy bill.
  • It’s getting cooler, but the sun is still shining. Hang your washing out in the sun instead of using the clothes dryer. Using a cold wash also saves energy too.
  • Share meals. If you live with other people, share the cooking to reduce electricity and gas use in the kitchen.
  • Dress for the weather and save the air conditioner or the heater for when you really need it.
  • Plan your meals. Before you go to the shops, work out exactly how much food you need - and have storage room for - so you won’t end up throwing things out.
  • Compost your scraps. When you do have bits to throw away, composting turns scraps into useful fertiliser. If you council doesn’t take food waste and you don’t have space for a larger compost system, a bokashi bin may be for you.
  • Grow your own herbs and other vegetables – 35% of the average Aussie household bin is food waste. Growing your own plants helps to reduce as you can pick only what you need.
  • Go plant-based for most of your meals. Animal agriculture is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and cutting down meat consumption is one of the biggest impact actions we can take as individuals.
  • Do a plastic audit in your home and identify areas of improvement.
  • Switch to products like shampoo, conditioner and soap bars instead of buying bottles. 
  • Reuse or upcycle take away containers and other products. Make sure to be safe in doing so.
  • Use a coffee press to make your own coffee. Most pods can’t be effectively recycled.
  • Use alternatives to cling wrap like beeswax wraps, silicone food covers or just another plate or bowl to keep leftovers fresh.