Earth Day 2023’s theme is ‘Invest in our planet’, with a focus on ‘engaging governments, institutions, businesses, and the more than 1 billion individuals who participate annually in Earth Day to do their part – everyone accounted for, everyone accountable’. IEMA’s Senior Media Officer Tim Farmer explores this year’s theme and ways we can play a part.

Let’s be honest every day should be ‘Earth Day’, where we look at ways that we can each play a role in helping to prevent further damage being done, protect natural resources and action change in small and big ways to work towards a more sustainable future. However, we need reminding, encouraging and challenging though and Earth Day does just that, bringing to the fore the vital importance of looking at ways we can help the environment on many levels. Let’s have a look at some of these.

Nature & Food

There are so many ways we can help the environment around us. Some of these include:

  • Creating or installing ‘bug hotels’ in your garden to provide shelter and encourage a healthy habitat
  • Hedgehog highways to provide a safe way for these little wonders safety as they wander through gardens
  • Plant wildflower seeds and other ‘bee-friendly’ plants to help the wonder-bugs work their magic.
  • Also, if possible, let a patch of your garden grow wild to encourage insects and wildlife to use it as a new home. Another option is a ‘stumpery’ where old tree stumps can be planted in the ground so that as they break down they become good environments for insects and other wildlife.
  • Look into what plants or trees would be best suited to the area you live in and find out which types would grow well and benefit the local biodiversity.
  • If you can grow herbs, fruits or vegetables indoors or in the garden, this will help you to reduce the amount of carbon emissions from going out to a shop, or the emissions used to get the produce to the shop. It will also help you to become more self-sufficient and produce less food-waste, as you will only use what you need.
  • There are a few apps and organisations which signpost how to reduce your food waste by letting you know where you can pick up excess food from small shops and supermarkets (also saving you a lot of money!)

Recycling & Plastics

It can be rather overwhelming with all the information around plastics, what can be recycled and where and how and whether it actually will or not! This means it’s even more important to be an ‘eco-detective’ and look into the credentials of companies and products claiming to be eco-friendly and recyclable. It’s also helpful to look into the availability of recycling within your area and how best to do this, whether it is with food waste, terra-cycle or more.

There are now so many ways to avoid plastics in our everyday lives, through what we buy, using cotton bags for shopping to looking carefully at the packaging on items we buy and whether there are unnecessary plastics used.

Reuse & Repurpose

This is a classic ‘call to arms’, but it’s always worth remembering and considering ways that we can look into how to repurpose old items, reuse them or donate/swap them with someone. This is another way to recycle/reuse by not buying new and subsequently contributing to carbon emissions produced by production and shipping etc.

Clean Beauty & Sustainable Fashion

Now, clean beauty is something I am getting increasingly obsessed with, truth be told! I have always looked after my skin but working at IEMA and being more aware of ingredients and sourcing for a lot of products, has made me look a little deeper into what I am putting on my skin. There are many examples of greenwashing out there and brands who desperately want you to believe they are clean and green and worth splashing your cash on, above anything else.

So then, how do you discern what is the genuine article and which are not? Well, it is tricky, but there are some websites that help you to know whether items are clean or not, often with a rating system, along with a more in-depth look at their ingredients and production. Some of these are:

With the growing awareness of sustainable practices and customers demanding more transparency in their products, a lot of beauty websites will list clean certifications or credentials for applicable products, or even have a specific area for these items. Some websites also specialise in only clean, natural products, such as Naturisimo | Organic Skincare and Makeup and UK's first online destination to buy natural and organic beauty — It’s definitely worth looking into what is in your skincare, whether it is environmentally and ethically sourced, cruelty free or vegan via the sites above, or even just to see what greener options there are out there for your beauty regime.

In the same way, fashion is definitely one to be an eco-detective on too, with a lot of greenwashing out there and hidden truths around their production. As above, there are some helpful websites out there, when looking into how to shop fashion in a greener way:

We all know that ‘fast fashion’ is a dirty phrase and something we and a lot of companies want to move away from, so like with some of the points above, finding out how to shop second-hand, repair, reuse or repurpose clothing is always a win-win. Aside from that, purchasing good quality items with solid credentials that are lasting staples, will also mean you’re able to move away from ‘fast fashion’.

My aim for this blog was to highlight just a few areas in our everyday lives where we can all make a real impact for the better, as we strive toward a more sustainable lifestyle now and for the good of the future too.

Photo of Tim 018
Tim Farmer

Senior Media Officer, IEMA

Tim Farmer is the Digital Content Officer at IEMA, with experience in social media and email marketing, blog writing and press releases.


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