There is a quote by Ryunosuke Satoro that says “Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean“. When we collectively decide to take action, we often find the courage and the motivation to engage in something that matters. Together we find the strength to keep going towards a common goal and see the world around us changing.
For months I have been thinking about starting a list of green movements in my blog, a place to keep some initiatives, challenges and important dates so that we can all find inspiration during the year to join forces and be part of the positive changes our planet needs. So today’s post is aiming to start that.
Reasons to join
These are only some of the reasons to participate in these initiatives:
- Get the momentum to start a change or a positive action to start living more sustainably.
- These initiatives usually have tools, tips and recommendations to make your event/challenge a bit easier. Many of these movements even have support groups on social media that can help when challenges arises.
- In many instances, there are many events that you can join in your city. If not, they offer the platform so you create one locally and invite others to join you.
- It creates a sense of belonging when we are part of a community of people doing the same thing either locally or globally.
- Offers an opportunity to meet new like-minded people in person or online.
- You can invite friends and family to do something you care and raise awareness about a particular issue.
Greener is better
- Veganuary: it is a charity inspiring people to try vegan during January. Meat reduction is considered key to reduce impact on the environment, therefore committing to this experience for one month can provide the tools and motivation to experiments with new ingredients and flavours. More information visit veganuary.com
- World Wetlands Day [02/02]: This global event aims to raise awareness about the importance of wetlands for people and our planet. For more information visit worldwetlandsday.org
- National Sustainable Living Festival (Australia): It is a movement to promote sustainable living and seek solutions for climate change. Events are held during February here in Melbourne. For more information visit slf.org.au
- World Wildlife Day [03/03]: This is a day honour and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants, each year they have a theme, for example this year is “Life below water: for people and planet”. There are many ways to get involved, for more information visit wildlifeday.org
- Clean Up Australia Day (Australia): this event is held on the first Sunday in March every year, the idea is to create or join activities to clean certain areas all over the country. For more information visit cleanupaustraliaday.org.au
- Global Recycling Day [18/03]: Initiative to recognise the importance recycling plays in preserving primary resources and securing the future of our planet. Details on globalrecyclingday.com
- International Day of Forests [21/03]: Day to celebrate how trees and forests protect us and sustain life in our planet. For more information visit un.org/en/events/forestsday/
- World Water Day [22/03]: Billions of people live without access to clean and safe water, this is a day to raise awareness about this issue. There are events all around the world. For more information visit worldwaterday.org
- Earth Hour: This event happens globally on the last Saturday of March, from 8:30 – 9:30 pm local time. To participate turn off the lights or join a local event. I usually stay at home and take advantage of this opportunity to connect with family, at work they do it every year too. When millions of people do the same thing, the impact is significant. For more information visit earthhour.org
- Mend it March: A movement to inspire people to repair clothes, learn and share new skills.
- Earth Day [22/04]: It is a global event. From the official website: “It is a day of political action and civic participation. People march, sign petitions, meet with their elected officials, plant trees, clean up their towns and roads”. There are so many ways we can help and celebrate our planet earth. For more information visit earthday.org
- World Environment Day [05/06]: It is a day to raise awareness about our environment. Every year they have a theme, with the intention to focus our attention on a particular issue, like plastic pollution. There are events organised worldwide, for more information visit worldenvironmentday.global
- World Ocean Day [08/06]: It is a day to celebrate, honour and protect our oceans which are critical for our survival. There are several events like cleanups, lectures, festivals etc. For more information visit worldoceansday.org
- Arbor day – Australia [20/06]: It is a date to celebrate the importance of trees in our planet. This event is celebrated in many countries, I am referencing the date in Australia, but it varies depending on the location, check this list to find the dates around the world. For more information visit www.arborday.org
- National Tree Day (Australia): It is a tree-planting and nature caring day, there are events all over the country and it happens on the last Sunday of July. They also have special day for schools. Great opportunity to join a local event with friends and family. For more information visit treeday.planetark.org
- Plastic Free July: I have done this one a couple of times, this movement encourages people and communities to change their habits and reduce single-plastic use during the month of July. I wrote a full post about this one in case you want to check it out. For more information visit plasticfreejuly.org
- Clean up the Wold: it is celebrated globally on the third weekend in September each year. An opportunity to get involved and clean our local communities. For more information visit cleanuptheworld.org
- International Coastal Cleanup: it takes place the third week of September every year. As we all know ocean pollution is a massive problem, this initiative aims to raise awareness about this issue and clean lakes, rivers and beaches around the world. For more information visit oceanconservancy.org
- Second Hand September: this initiative came from Oxfam and it aims to raise awareness about fast fashion industry and its consequences. It encourages people to stop buying new clothes for 30 days. For details visit oxfamapps.org/secondhandseptember
- World Car Free Day: it is celebrated on 22nd Sep and it encourages people to give up cars for one day, reducing emissions. For more details visit worldcarfree.net/wcfd/
- National Ride2Work Day (Australia): A day to celebrate the benefits to riding to work, let’s remember cycling is a zero emission way of transport. For more information visit bicyclenetwork.com.au
- Buy Nothing New Month (Australia): This idea was born here in Melbourne and it is spreading to USA and Netherlands. It’s a one month challenge to buy nothing new with the exception of essentials like food, drinks, hygiene and medicines. It is about conscientious consumption. According to the website you are allowed to “beg, borrow, barter, swap or buy second hand whatever you need”. More information visit buynothingnew.com.au
- Buy Nothing Day: This initiative aims to avoiding making purchases on that particular day to fight over-consumption. In America is celebrated on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. In Australia and other countries in Europe it is held on the last Saturday in November. More information visit buynothingday.org
- No Packet November: encourages families to reduce their consumption of packaged food for one month. It was created having in mind processed and packaged food so prevalent in lunchboxes. To learn more visit nopacketnovember.com.
All year around
- Buy Nothing Year: Similar to buy nothing new month, but in this instance you do it for the full year. In case you are interested, there is a group in Facebook and an article in Forbes
- Meat-Free Monday: Reduce your carbon footprint my reducing meat consumption. For more information visit meatfreemondays.com
- Take 3 for the Sea: The idea is simple, take 3 pieces of rubbish when you leave the beach, waterway or anywhere. Imagine if everyone did this? For more details visit take3.org
- We Stay on the Ground: This movement aims to spread awareness about the climate impact of air travel. They currently have an initiative that encourage people to avoid flights during 12 months: “Flight Free” year. The website is in Swedish, but this article has some information about the movement and an interview with the creator.
Please note this will be a living post and I’ll keep adding initiatives as I find them (or remember them). I am sure the are many movements and important dates I haven’t included, so please let me know what I have missed in the comments section or via social media.
Have you found in this list the next event/movement you are happy to participate? Please let me know, I’d love to hear from you. You can use my social media accounts below.
Also please consider sharing this information with friends and family, invite them to the event too, perfect opportunity to raise awareness about so many environmental issues we are facing.
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” – Lao Tzu