Earth Day 2022
As we reflect on the last year, we have seen a gradual shift back to ‘normal’ life as covid restrictions were relaxed and now lifted – but what does this mean to the environment? More recently, we have seen the devastation of war in Ukraine - where the limits to humanity have been called into question, but thankfully we have also seen inspiring strength and conviction to defend a piece of the planet to call home. We have also seen and heard arguably the most successful COP in Glasgow with COP26 – but what has really changed?
If there was an upside to the global pandemic, it was the environmental benefits of travelling less, reducing pollution and in many cases also consuming less as budgets tightened. Below is just one stark example of the levels of air pollution we create. This is Delhi only 6 months apart, and there are many more examples.
Image Source: Returners
As we start to travel more for business and pleasure, will we revert to pre-pandemic pollution levels? I for one really hope not and we quite simply can’t. We all know there is a problem, from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, currently estimated at 1.6 million km squared and continuing to grow to global warming, which not only heightens our sea levels, particularly in the polar regions, but also affects our weather patterns with increases storms, floods and droughts.
Quite frankly, if nothing changes we will be:
- 77 years until we have no rainforests
- 27 years until the earth runs out of food
- 25 years until there are no more fish in the sea
- 17 years until we run out of fresh water
I find this really frightening and almost surreal but is it true or is it all scaremongering? Honestly, I believe it is true, but the good news is we CAN do some something about it, so why not start today on Earth Day?
For Earth Day 2022, we need to act (boldly), innovate (broadly), and implement (equitably). It’s going to take all of us. All in. Businesses, governments, and citizens—everyone accounted for, and everyone accountable. A partnership for the planet
We all have our part to play. It’s too easy just to say “governments need to do more” and “sustainable products need to be more affordable”. Little changes can make a huge difference, but we must act now while we still have time to solve the climate crisis.
- The Great Global Cleanup® is a worldwide campaign to remove billions of litter from our streets, beaches, rivers, trails and parks
- Recycle more items. Most of us are really good at recycling kitchen waste and food packaging but not so good at recycling bathroom products, even though almost all bottles we have in our bathrooms can be recycled.
- Reduce food waste. Currently in the UK around 18% of our landfill sites are made up of food waste, but this did drop temporarily to 13% in April 2020 during the first national lockdown. Globally, it is estimated a third of the world’s food goes to waste and when that food rots, it contributes to 8-10% of global greenhouse gases. There are many ways to reduce food waste at home and the BBC have a great guide
The theme of The Earth Day 2022 is ‘Invest In Our Planet’. Please share your plan with us, together we can pioneer the right choices for you, your consumers and our planet.
About the author
Gillian Garside-Wight - Sustainability Partner
Gillian leads our consulting offer, with over 20 years’ experience in the print and packaging industry, strategically developing packaging strategies, roadmaps and packaging solutions to meet the needs of clients and consumers / end users. She has worked with a number of global retailers and household brands on projects spanning sustainability and innovation to supply chain optimisation. With a real passions for sustainable packaging, her quest is to inform and drive a circular economy wherever possible while complementing creativity and technical functionality but never forgetting commercial requirements.
What’s your experience? Join the conversation on LinkedIn.