9 ways to change your home, neighbourhood, and planet this Environment Day

Are you concerned about the environment? Sometimes it can seem like our planet is being devastated at a rate we’ll never be able to recover from. Luckily, the impact we make at home and with other members of our communities can trigger a ripple that sends waves of change through the world.

Here are 9 things you can do by yourself and in your neighbourhood to help transform the world this World Environment Day.

1. Join the global call to save the Great Barrier Reef

Did you know the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest reef ecosystem, that it is home to more plants and animals than any other ecosystem, and that right now, it’s at risk from the coal industry?

Not everyone can speak up about this – but you can! Sign the petition to UNESCO now.

2. Clean up a place you love

There’s lots of ways you can have fun and act on plastic pollution in your community at the same time. You can join an organised initiative in your local area, like a Responsible Runners group.

Or, if you’d prefer, fly solo and take the Take3 challenge: pick up three pieces of litter from all the beaches, rivers, parks or streets you come across in your community.


3. Become a recycling know-it-all 

Not sure what can be recycled, and where? Read up on plastic recycling in this blog, and check out the resources on the Planet Ark website to become a recycling nerd.

Then, use your wisdom for good and teach your friends and family what you’ve learnt. More people would think twice about littering if they knew the impact of plastic pollution on our waterways, oceans and marine life. Share the information you learn and try to positively influence the plastic use and recycling habits of those around you.

4. Take action on plastic pollution

Recently, the NSW government made a commitment to implement a 10c ‘cash for containers’ scheme, and after pressure from thousands of Australians, the Queensland government has announced they will also begin investigating this scheme!

This is a great first step – sign the petition to the Queensland Environment Minister to make it a reality.


5. Check your products for microbeads 

Often the use of microbeads – tiny plastic beads found in many cosmetics and toiletries – is advertised, but they can also be hiding in the ingredients list.


Image by Steve Greenberg, Cagle Cartoons – via 5Gyres on Twitter

Luckily, the folks at Beat the Microbead have made an app to help you find out if these tiny pollutants are in your favourite products.

6. Stand with the Wangan and Jagalingou traditional owners

The traditional owners of the land in Queensland’s Galilee Basin, the Wangan and Jagalingou people, are calling for support for their campaign to protect and defend their connection to Country. You can stand in solidarity with them here.

7. Support the campaign to end dirty palm oil

The unsustainable production of palm oil is devastating for the world’s forests, animals and climate – and unfortunately, helps bring us many of the products we use and love everyday.

Orangutan Feeding Platform near Tanjung Puting National Park

But it doesn’t have to be like this. The palm oil industry is in rapid transformation. We’re working with the Palm Oil Innovation Group to create industry change – join the global forests campaign to be part of it.

8. Make a stand for sustainable fishing

Around the globe, unsustainable fishing practices are destroying ocean habitats and threatening fish species.

The Afrika Super Trawler

The good news is that pressure from the Greenpeace community helped transform the canned tuna available in Australian supermarkets – so now you can use our Canned Tuna Guide to buy sustainably caught pole and line tuna.

9. Become one of the 7 million global citizens protecting the Arctic

There are some places on this Earth that are so important and fragile they should be protected at all costs. The Arctic is one of those places.

Now, over 7 million passionate people from around the world have signed on to become Arctic Defenders! With companies like Shell trying to invade the precious Arctic and drill for oil, we need the biggest, strongest movement possible to save it. Stand up for Arctic wildlife and our climate – sign up here.