How Green Muscle Memory Can Help Us Fight Plastic Waste
January 5, 2024
With only 109 days until Earth Day 2024, EARTHDAY.ORG wants to empower ordinary people to make more eco-friendly choices, combating the plastic crisis plaguing our world and championing our theme, Planet vs. Plastics.
The National Campaign as well as our other campaigns collaborate with green cities, environmental justice groups, federal agencies, colleges and universities, and nonprofits year round to build worldwide support and awareness for a healthier planet. We believe these groups hold the power to educate, mobilize, and empower individuals in the environmental movement.
In 2024 we are focusing on green muscle memory — a subconscious inclination towards making environmentally friendly choices through education and repetition — to achieve our environmental goals. People make small choices everyday for their own convenience, like grabbing a single-use cup from the coffee shop, but we need to take a critical look at the consequences of our decisions.
How can we use green muscle memory as a tool to fight against plastic use and waste? Education on the reality of plastics is crucial. People must understand the extent of plastic waste on our planet, its effects on wildlife and the environment, and the undeniable toll microplastics have on human health. EARTHDAY.ORG’s campaigns are designed to educate the public and provide you with the tools to develop your own green muscle memory.
One of EARTHDAY.ORG’s biggest priorities is educating the public on the environmental issues our planet is facing — including the plastic crisis — through our Climate and Environmental Literacy campaign. Understanding the effects of plastic waste is the foundation for further action. That is why we have numerous toolkits available on our website that explain the problem with plastics and how we can solve it. We also have guidelines, such as the End Plastics Campaign Lesson, for teachers looking to implement this crucial information in classrooms. Education is the key to helping younger generations develop instinctive eco-friendly behaviors and developing green muscle memory.
Fashion for the Earth
One of our goals is to promote more eco-friendly fashion. Our Fashion For the Earth campaign has created toolkits to help you shop more sustainably and care for your clothing. Simple changes like buying less clothes, swapping garments with friends instead of purchasing new items, and choosing natural materials like organic cotton over polyester play a significant role in reducing synthetic fiber production. With this campaign we aim to educate consumers and supply them with the knowledge they need to adopt better fashion practices.
EARTHDAY.ORG has worked with local governments to develop our Green Cities campaign. We believe designing more eco-friendly communities and green cities is both a cause and result of better environmental education and awareness. Bans and taxes on single-use plastics have already been implemented in many municipalities around the world. But even smaller changes to a city’s design and policies can promote better choices — making plastic less convenient and green alternatives more attractive will allow citizens to develop instinctive practices.
The Great Global Cleanup
Join The Great Global Cleanup with an action as simple as picking up trash and properly disposing of it. Some people like to “plog,” or pick up trash while they run, jog, or walk. This is easy to integrate into your everyday life, but more dedicated plastic cleanup efforts make an even bigger impact. The Great Global Cleanup campaign is focused on organizing events to combat plastic pollution in local communities. EARTHDAY.ORG’s Global Map of Events allows you to browse both private and public cleanups in your area, and even register your own to attract more participants. We also have tips for organizing a cleanup event to mobilize your community and inspire further action against plastic waste.
We believe that students are a crucial part of environmental education, and we are committed to helping the next generation of leaders on college campuses with our MobilizeU campaign. Student organizers can bring environmental activism to your campus and inspire your community to build its green muscle memory. MobilizeU’s online resources can help you plan plastic cleanups, sustainability meetings, and waste reduction initiatives on your campus.
Not only should we as individuals understand what we are doing wrong now, but what we can all do to be better. We must reinforce the importance of cleaning up our plastic waste, learn how to shop for food and clothes more sustainably, and most importantly, educate young people and students so they can develop these instinctive behaviors. Join 1 billion others in the Planet vs. Plastics fight for a better future for generations to come.