Saving the Planet: A Birthday Gift to Sir David Attenborough

Sir David Attenborough.

It’s a name that incites joy across the entire country, whether it be from a young, inquisitive child or your grandparents who have watched his entire career unfold across their lifetime.

Today, on his 93rd birthday, the celebrated TV legend is being showered with well-wishes from all corners of the Internet and beyond, and it’s not hard to see why.

Sir David’s career path has mapped out a blazing trail of activism that has seen the 93-year-old hailed as a climate change pioneer. The nature expert caused national upset recently, after admitting to The Guardian that he “doesn’t have many more years around here” and fears for the future of the Earth after he’s gone.

Terrifyingly, he’s right to be concerned, with the United Nations reporting this week that nature is in the ‘worst shape in human history’, with extinction threatening over one million species of plants and animals. The UN have made it clear that this issue is entirely human-made, but it is not too late to rectify the damage that has been done to Mother Earth.

Amongst the stark reality of a bleak future, Sir David has found time to praise young people who were critical activists in the recent Extinction Rebellion protests, which were successful in shutting down most of central London. Following the action of protestors, UK Parliament has approved a motion to declare an environment and climate emergency.

We’ve all heard time and time again that single-use plastics are bad for the environment and that we should refuse the straw. These are all wonderful suggestions but it’s time to think bigger. In celebration of Sir David Attenborough on his 93rd birthday, we present you with a list of lesser-known ways that young people can continue to demand change for the Earth. In honour of David, a national treasure…

 

  1. Cut down on smoking. We know what you’re probably thinking, and no, you’re right, we’re not your mother. But cigarette filters are made of plastic and they’re making their way into landfill, into our oceans and into the stomachs of woodland animals. If you fancy life without cigarettes, Smokefree is a handy app to aid your journey. Even if you don’t want to kick your habit quite yet, consider using a refillable lighter. Better yet, buy a pack of matches à la 1950s Greasers to add a real touch of je ne sais quoi to your personality when you light your next cigarette. You probably should cut down too, though. Sorry.
  2. Record your time travelling. Keeping a diary of the amount of time you’ve spent using varied modes of transportation is very eye-opening. If you’re spending an hour per day in rush hour traffic, it may be worth sacrificing the solace of your car and spending 20 minutes on that bustling train next to a screaming baby instead. An app called Life Cycle can track all of these movements for you, provided you’re okay with how Black Mirror-esque it is having your phone track your entire day’s movements, down to the minute.
  3. Join the food waste revolution. Too Good To Go is a remarkably handy app that allows local restaurants to post a list of all of the food that they’re going to have to bin at the end of the evening, offering it at discounted prices. What better way to try the restaurants in your local area? They believe ‘small actions have big consequences’, so download the app and become a Waste Warrior today.
  4. Go thrifty with your fashion choices. In a world of fast fashion and discount codes from social media influencers at every corner, it’s easy to fall into a trap of buying clothes you don’t actually need. We’ve all fallen victim to the ‘if I don’t like it, I’ll send it back’ mindset, but did you know that 5 BILLION pounds of retail returns end up in landfill? To combat this, Depop is a brilliant app that works exactly like eBay but entirely for clothes. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, so before you spend £50 on that new dress, see if somebody else has already decided they’d rather get rid of it.
  5. Check your carbon footprint with WWF. It’s easy to read a list of suggestions for helping the planet and attempt to take them on board, but not all of the generic list will be tailored to your lifestyle. By checking your carbon footprint with WWF, you can access a handy list of tips that are catered to your lifestyle choices and understand where you’re going wrong.

There are thousands of ways that you can lessen your impact on the earth, and the small changes are what build up into a green revolution. There’s no day better than the 93rd birthday of Sir David Attenborough to jump on the bandwagon and start saving the earth, so do the nation’s grandfather a favour and start making the changes that will make him a happy man, today.

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