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Five things we can all do to help protect the planet on Earth Day

As a country we buy too much, including too many products made of unsustainable materials and ingredients – and then accept them in excess packaging.

Watch your waste

Buy wisely, buy locally produced and use customer comment space to give feedback on how companies could do better.

 

Park the car

Try to make trips on public transport, on foot or by bike. Check out car-share and short-term rental options. Start exploring switching to an electric vehicle. Ask questions, tell dealers the barriers you face, let the industry know you’re interested.

 

Be energy-wise

Demand for electricity keeps growing and renewables are only part of the solution.

Unplug appliances when not in use, turn off lights in unoccupied buildings, regulate room temperature and insulate well.

Explore supports for retrofitting, solar panels and heat pump installation. If you’re buying, moving or renovating then include retrofitting in your budget and shop around to see what changes it’s possible to make.

 

Let your money talk

Fossil-fuel producers and industries using them need finance and banking services like all businesses.

Ask your bank, or your pension administrator, mortgage provider and investment advisor, if you have one, if they’re still backing the polluters. Consider a switch if they are.

Stay informed

Change, and the supports to help people make changes, rarely come unless policymakers and politicians are pushed into it.

Report environmental damage to your council or the EPA, write to councillors, TDs and business groups with ideas and concerns.

Look out for events, debates, projects and information sessions run by environmental groups and climate campaigners. You don’t have to march or shout but do, in your own way, go out, find out and speak out.

Irish Independent

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