Earth Day: Six ways to Invest in Our Planet
Today (22 April) is Earth Day – a day uniting people all over the world in calling for government, businesses and citizens to take bold, decisive action to fight the climate crisis.
Earth Day 2022 calls on us all to “Invest in Our Planet”, highlighting actions and tips such as demanding clean green energy, which can empower us to make a difference right now, and be part of the global movement for change.
Absolutely critical in this – as the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report hammers home – is having the right policies, infrastructure and technology to support changes to our lifestyles and behaviours, to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and invest in our future.
Here we zone in on six ways to #InvestInOurPlanet this Earth Day.
1. Choose deep green energy
Where your energy comes from matters, and ramping up investment in more renewable energy generation is the only meaningful way to make a difference in fighting the climate crisis.
It’s our top way to invest in our planet this Earth Day. Not only has the cost of solar, wind energy and batteries plummeted since 2010, but more than three-quarters of Britain’s public support new windfarms in the UK. Yet the IPCC says there’s a gaping hole in the funding needed to limit warming to below 2°C by 2030, and a strong alignment of finance and government policy required to close this gap.
As a deep green energy supplier, what makes us different is that we invest our customer bill money into new sources of green energy. We’ve always used our profits to build new green energy generation – we call it “bills into mills”.
And we have projects underway, from two cutting-edge solar parks in Devon and Leicestershire, and our first 100% green gas mill near Reading, to our partnership for Britain’s first geothermal energy supply, and grid-scale battery storage.
2. Switch your SIM for nature
Ever thought paying your phone bill could be a way to invest in our planet? No? Think again! Ecotalk + RSPB, our sustainable mobile phone service, invests customers’ phone bills into buying back and restoring land for Britain’s wildlife – turning “bills into hills”!
It really does work. In July 2019, Ecotalk customer bills helped the RSPB buy Fairburn Tips, an old dumping ground for coal mining waste in West Yorkshire, and restore it into a wild space.
The Ecotalk + RSPB mobile service is now supporting fundraising efforts to help the RSPB buy Horse Common in the New Forest. By introducing more water and traditional grazing, it hopes to boost biodiversity, and see historic bird species such as woodlark and nightjar make a return.
3. Go animal-free
“Going animal-free is about three things: ethics, climate and health”, says our founder, Dale Vince.
When it comes to fighting the climate crisis, it’s well-documented (including by the latest IPCC report) that diets high in plant protein and low in meat and dairy are associated with lower greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs).
Shifting our diets in this way therefore represents clear action we can take to invest in our planet – and our health, too. Benefits span everything from lowering your risk of heart disease and diabetes, to even reversing type 2 diabetes and protecting against cancers.
4. Invest in eco education
Investing in climate and environmental literacy is a pivotal way to invest in our future and address the climate crisis, says the Earth Day movement – and our sister organisation the Ministry of Eco Education (MoEE) agrees.
The MoEE is a collaboration of teachers setting sustainability at the heart of education, pooling all the best sustainability teaching resources around into one complete, holistic curriculum, for Britain’s primary schools.
From its roots at Minchinhampton School near Ecotricity HQ, the MoEE now works with 15 pioneer schools UK-wide to pilot the new ‘green’ curriculum – with a mission to reach 10,000 schools by 2025.
Visit MoEE to find out more.
5. Choose ethical banking
Another way to invest in our planet is to choose an ethical bank – one that helps you manage your money, while making sure you’re not unknowingly supporting planet-harming industries. Last year, an Opinium survey found a “swell” of optimism among Brits around living greener lives, yet few recognised the significant impact their finances could have.
Our partner Triodos Bank is one such bank – we’ve known them since 1996, when they helped finance Ecotricity’s first windmill. Triodos refuses to finance polluting fossil fuels and regularly tops ethical banking rankings, using the power of finance to invest in projects good for people and planet.
6. Go plastic-free to invest in our future
Plastic is terrifyingly rampant in our oceans. Marine conservation activists Sea Shepherd say we’re adding eight million tonnes of plastic to the oceans every year, and if we carry on like this, we’ll have more plastic in our seas than fish.
Committing to going plastic-free therefore is one of the most impactful ways to #InvestInOurPlanet, shifting our time, energy and money into avoiding using these forever materials, and making plastic-free living the norm.
Several of our partners are tackling the scourge of plastic waste. Sea Shepherd’s UK Marine Debris campaign, for example, is part of global efforts to spread education and awareness of plastic pollution, through local beach cleans.
Meanwhile our friends at Lush, the handmade cosmetics company, offer plastic-free and refill options on the high street (as does the Ethical Superstore online), while Riverford Organic Farmers do zero-packing veg boxes – making it easy to avoid plastics and promote reuse.
Visit the Earth Day website for more tips and to join the movement.
Find out more about our green energy.
Vegan energy: why it matters
We thought the four year anniversary of our certified vegan energy would be a good moment to take stock, to look at what vegan energy is, why it’s so important and what the future of vegan energy holds.
Ecotricity at WOMAD
Our partnership with WOMAD began back in 2013. It’s been a huge success over the years, giving us the chance to demonstrate to the festival’s 40,000 audience what we believe in, and how together we can fight the climate crisis and create a green Britain
Massive new gas ‘field’ discovered in Britain
New report shows that Britain can produce all the gas it needs from grassland while saving billions on net zero plans.