2016 sees the 46th year of Earth Day, the movement that continues to inspire, challenge ideas, ignite passion and motivate people to action.
And with more than 150 political leaders from countries around the world expected to sign the Paris Climate Change agreement today, Earth Day 2016 is set to be one of the most important in its history.
Paris Climate Change Agreement
The Paris Agreement was set last December, where, during talks, leaders from around the world agreed to work to limit the temperature rise to below 1.5 degrees Celsius.
It was also agreed that developed countries would provide, by 2020, around £70 billion worth of public and private finance to help developing countries.
The signing will take place in New York at the headquarters of the United Nations (UN) and according to the UN, never before have so many countries been present on the first day of an agreement.
All Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention of Climate Change (UNFCCC) are invited to sign the agreement, but with their signature, each must submit a proposal of actions they will take in order for the agreement to be effective.
Although agreed in December, the agreement has not yet entered into force and won't become legally binding until 30 days after it has been signed by at least 55 countries, representing at least 55% of emissions.
However, as so many countries are backing the agreement, it is hoped that this could speed it up, meaning the world need not worry about having to wait until 2020 for the agreement to enter in to force as it could happen as early as this year.
Earth Day 2016 & Playing your part
In 1970, Earth Day was launched to celebrate the planet and encourage people to be more environmentally friendly. This year, it is expected that one billion people across the globe will get involved. If you want get involved in Earth Day but aren't sure how, we've got some simple but effective steps you can take to becoming more environmentally friendly.
Recycling at work
- Provide recycling bins in common areas clearly labelled with what you can dispose
- Allocate a Recycling Champion responsible for motivating colleagues and ensuring all recycling initiatives are being monitored
- Re-use scrap paper when printing
- Where possible use email, set your PC to print double-sided and refill printer, fax and photocopier cartridges
Recycling at home
- Keep a recycling container next to your general waste bin – to make it easy to segregate the recyclable items
- Do you know if your local council offers a kerbside recycling scheme? To find out more information about kerbside collections or to location your nearest recycling centre, use the postcode locator or contact your local council
- When you go to do your weekly shop most supermarkets will have a range of recycling banks – bottle, can, paper etc…..so make sure you take your recyclable goods with you!
- There are all sorts of glass jars that can be recycled from the kitchen – all you need to do is give them a rinse and collect them with your other glass to be recycled.
- Have you looked in your bathroom? Shampoo and bubble bath bottles are often forgotten. Why not put a recycling bin in your bathroom to collect all the empty plastic bottles and cardboard tubes from toilet rolls?
Easy ways to save energy
- Turn off your office equipment when it is not being used
- Cut lighting costs by up to 15% by turning off lights in empty rooms and replacing light bulbs with energy efficient bulbs
- Make sure all dripping taps are fixed, something small like this can cost a business up to £400 a year
- Turning the thermostat down by 1 degree can save 8% on your company heating bill
For more recycling & energy saving tips, you can visit our Recycling Room
Comply Direct also assist businesses with a range of recycling and sustainability services. If your business is looking to become more environmentally friendly this Earth Day, please do not hesitate to get in touch with one of our experts.