Friday 22nd June is Go Green Day â€“ a day when citizens and communities of Wales take action against climate change and fundraise to protect tropical forests that are one of the best â€˜technologiesâ€™ to fight climate change.
Thanks to donations from you and our funders we are protecting tropical forests twice the size of Wales â€“ thatâ€™s 4.5million hectares (or 4.5 million rugby pitches)!
Every year, Go Green Day has engaged the creative amongst us to raise money â€“ all money donated is then doubled and 100% is given to our projects. This year we are asking you to join in by pledging your ideas to â€˜go greenâ€™ and sharing how you will be fundraising for us.
We have pulled together some top tips to get you started â€“ please share your own ideas using #GoGreenDay
1 Avoid products that cause deforestation
SRDC, Guyana. Damage caused to rainforest by mining
As a charity set up to tackle the impacts of climate change caused by deforestation, our first advice is that you check and change products that use ingredients that lead to #deforestation. The 7 biggest culprits to avoid are soy, palm oil, pulp & paper, timber, beef & leather, rubber and cocoa.
And while youâ€™re at it, talk to us about a â€˜zero deforestationâ€™ policy for your organisation. Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org. From a recent report by WWF and RSPB â€˜Risky Businessâ€™: The total land area required to supply UKâ€™s demand for soy, palm oil, pulp & paper, timber, beef & leather, rubber and cocoa was, on average, over 13.6 million hectares per year between 2011 and 2015 â€“ thatâ€™s equivalent to land area over six times the size of Wales!
Look instead for sustainable alternatives such as sustainable palm oil, sustainable soy, FSC certified timber, try â€˜meat-free Mondaysâ€™ & check-out some innovative food from World Resources Institute, buy Fairtrade products.
2 Less fossil-fuel power, more green power
The burning of fossil fuels is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and thus the biggest cause of climate change. Even Vogue magazine and the Pope are championing conscientious and sustainable use of products and energy. There are a growing number of ways we can all look to make a difference by changing or altering some of our routines, these can include:
- Ditching the car and walking or cycling more or using public transport: we have the worldâ€™s first â€˜Active Travel Actâ€™ in Wales, the pioneering â€˜Well-being of Future Generations Actâ€™, and the Wales Coast Path, another world first with an uninterrupted route along a national coast â€“ all helping to move us toward a low carbon lifestyle.
- There are a growing number of alternative products that we can use. For example, use hybrid or electric cars or car-pool or take advantage of the cycling opportunities; buy your clothes second-hand or clothes-swap and pass on the item once youâ€™re finished with it; support our growing number of community energy schemes or install your own energy saving ideas;
Tree nursery in Mbale, Uganda
Donâ€™t forget if there are still unavoidable emissions then we can help you redress the balance through our projects â€“ for example, Â£3 means planting 10 trees in Uganda, which has the added benefit of providing local communities sustainable livelihoods for the local community. We also invest in indigenous people in Africa and South America who are proven guardians of tropical forest.
3 Avoid single-use plastics
Make sure you understand what happens at the end of your productâ€™s life, using plastic straws as an example, to borrow a phraseâ€¦a moment on the lips, many lifetimes on our tips!!! WWF has provided some great tips to go #PlasticFree.
Wales has again been at the forefront by being the first nation in the UK to introduce the 5p charge on single-use carrier bags since 2011, resulting in a 71% reduction in their usage.
There are great and inspiring examples of communities and organisations banning single-use plastics such as the plastic free communities of Aberporth & New Quay, the first plastic-free town of Aberystwyth; National Assembly for Wales phasing out disposable plastics by September 2018, one of a growing list of companies and communities in Wales, as well as commitments from them to make Wales a #RefillNation providing free access to drinking water to refill your bottles and considerations for â€˜Deposit Return Schemeâ€™ for recycling bottles, cans, etc.
4 Protect and help plant more trees
A hugely underestimated but an immensely powerful â€˜technologyâ€™ for fighting the impacts of climate change and improving air quality in our cities and communities.
Rainforests are the lungs of our planet. Did you know, 20% of oxygen for the planet coming from the Amazon alone?! They also act as natural water filters: 20% of the worldâ€™s fresh water is in the Amazon Basin.
This combined with the many more amazing benefits of trees and forests, we have already lost more than half our planetâ€™s rainforests due to our demand for wood and arable land.
2018 sees Wales celebrating ten-years of its inspiring â€˜Plant!â€™ scheme where trees are planted for each child born or adopted in Wales â€“ one tree planted here in Wales and the other in Uganda. This is a true legacy we are leaving behind for our future generations but more is needed. Your support for projects like ours which are protecting, conserving and reforesting areas of tropical forests are therefore critical.
5 Go Green on Go Green Day
Finally, you can make a difference and have fun while you do it!
Join us on 22nd June, make a pledge and help us raise money for forest projects in Africa and South America. Donâ€™t forget every pound donated by you is doubled by us and 100% of the donations are given to our forest projects.
There are plenty of ideas here on how you, your neighbourhood, your organisation, your school can â€˜go greenâ€™ and support Wales on its #LowCarbonDiet!