Today, April 22nd, is Earth Day. A day described as being an opportunity to spread environmental awareness across the globe, the official website claims to have the support of 1 billion individuals across the world, and more than 75,000 partners. 

Even Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared his support earlier in the day for cutting emissions and urged other world leaders to do the same. This call for support is well founded: the carbon emissions released by our societies every day contribute to countless damaging effects on our planet, including climate change. 

Climate change has been a constant threat since the early 19th century when the greenhouse effect was first identified – however, it only first made the news in 1988. Everyone knows what it entails: a change in climate, hence the name, bringing about less than desirable consequences. These changes happen over a long period of time and can cause rising sea levels, shrinking mountain glaciers, and an increase in extreme weather events such as droughts or cyclones. Media has been more attentive to events such as global warming as of late, as we begin to approach the point of serious concern. 

There have been many suggestions as to how we can slow the looming threat of climate change. Changes in modes of transport is one: cutting back on flying, using public transport where available and leaving the car at home is a popular option and effective in reducing harmful emissions – especially when we appreciate that nearly three quarters of greenhouse gas emissions come from vehicles. Another method that has been gaining traction as of late is that of leaving meat out of your diet, and possibly even going vegan. The destruction of forests to make way for producing meat produces billions of tons of greenhouse gases – not taking into account the energy needed for food, water and habitat preservation. 

If you take anything away from Earth Day, hopefully it is a determined spirit and a head full of ideas of how you can contribute, even just a small bit, to the improvement of our planet’s health. It is in everyone’s, including your, best interests, after all.