6 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day Every Day in Tāmaki Makaurau
The 22nd of April is Earth Day, which is a great opportunity to think about our impact on the environment and take action to reduce it. Living a sustainable lifestyle is one of the most effective ways to do this, and there are many local resources you can utilise that will have a positive impact on the planet. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the ways you can live a more sustainable lifestyle and reduce your carbon footprint for those residing in Tāmaki Makaurau.
- Reduce, reuse, and recycle: One of the most well-known ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle is to reduce, reuse, and recycle. This means consuming fewer resources, using items multiple times, and properly disposing of waste. Companies like Re:mobile make it easy for you to recycle your old phone and dispose of e-waste responsibly (if and when you need to upgrade your phone! No point buying the new model if you don’t need it…). Computer Recycling also offers eco-friendly e-waste disposal options for most household appliances, including TVs, laptops, printers, and kitchen appliances. Plus, e-cigarette users can use the VapeCycle system to ensure the potentially harmful waste from vape pens is disposed of responsibly.
- Choose sustainable transportation: Transportation is a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions, so choosing sustainable transportation options can have a big impact on the environment. Consider walking, biking, or using public transportation instead of driving if possible. Ever wanted to get into cycling or get an e-bike, but not sure how to get started? Auckland Transport offers bike and e-bike courses for adults for both learning how to cycle safely around town and how to maintain your bike yourself!
- Buy local and organic: When shopping for food and other products, consider buying local and organic. Locally grown produce often requires less energy to transport and supports your local economy. Organic products are grown without the use of harmful pesticides and chemicals, which can be harmful to the environment and your health. There are several great farmers markets around Auckland including the Britomart Saturday Market in Takutai Square, The Shed Collective out in Henderson, the Grey Lynn Farmers’ Market, and the Otara Markets, arguably Auckland’s most popular market!
- Support sustainable businesses: Vote with your wallet and consider supporting sustainable businesses when possible. Many companies are making efforts to reduce their environmental impact, and by supporting them, you can help encourage more companies to do the same. Look for businesses that use sustainable materials, support renewable energy, and have other environmentally friendly practices. Companies like Ethique, founded and operated in Christchurch, offer a great alternative to several household and personal products like shampoo bars and concentrated bar kitchen spray, which reduced the number of plastic bottles used. Speaking of plastic bottles, RefillNZ have an app where you can look up what businesses and locations have a water fountain where you can refill your water bottle for free – helping reduce the number of water bottles used and supporting businesses that are part of the sustainablity movement!
- Compost: Composting is an easy way to reduce waste and create nutrient-rich soil for your garden. By composting food scraps, yard waste, and other organic matter, you can divert this waste from landfills, where it would release methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Plus, composting is a great way to reduce the need for chemical fertilizers. If you don’t have the space in your own yard (or if you don’t have a yard!) for a compost bin, the Compost Collective helps Aucklanders make the most of their food and garden waste, through their Share Waste program. You can sign up and list yourself as a composter/host or a donor of food waste to add to either a community or individual composting bin. A great way to meet your neighbours and share organic resources!
- Reduce your meat consumption: The meat industry is a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions, so reducing your meat consumption can have a big impact on the environment. Consider having meat-free days or try reducing your meat intake overall. Plant-based diets can be healthy and delicious, and they have a much lower carbon footprint than meat-based diets. There are a number of great vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurants around Auckland including the classic Revive Vegan Café, the trendy Gorilla Kitchen, a fan-favourite Sunflower Thai Vegan Restaurant, delicious fast food from Wise Boys and Lord of the Fries and, if you’re looking for a fancy night out, The Sugar Club offers a delectable plant-based tasting menu that pairs beautifully with the view of the Waitemata Harbour.
Living a more sustainable lifestyle is an ongoing process, and there are many other ways to reduce your carbon footprint and protect the planet. By making small changes to your daily routine, you can have a big impact on the environment and help create a more sustainable future. So this Earth Day, let’s all commit to taking action and making a positive difference.