We are one month away from April - Earth Month, a month in which eco conscious individuals, companies and policy advocates double down their efforts to make positive environmental change. Each year, EarthDay.org establishes a theme for Earth Day. The theme of this year’s Earth Day is “Restore Our Earth,” a fitting and hopeful theme to help kick off a decade the United Nations has declared the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.
Restoring our planet means healing the environment by reversing the damage we’ve done. While it is no substitute for conservation, restoration offers a new level of positivity and hope. Making investments that can restore the integrity and vibrancy of ecosystems means we aren’t just mitigating a climate crisis and learning to adapt to it, but that we are fighting to return the planet back to a thriving state. Research has shown that restoring 15% of converted lands in areas identified as being high priority could avoid 60% of currently anticipated extinctions and sequester 299 gigatonnes of CO2—30% of the total CO2 increase in the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution.
EcoEnclose is particularly excited for this emerging focus on restoration alongside conversation. Our vision is to enable progressive ecommerce business to become a regenerative collective force for the planet. Today, we - like most companies and communities - are deep in the trenches of determining how we can lower our negative impact as much as possible. Long-term, however, we are working towards a future in which our goods actually help improve the planet - by driving a more circular economy and establishing regenerative practices of materials production.
What does “Restore our Planet” really mean and how might it inspire the actions of companies, citizens and consumers? Here are just a few large scale examples:
- Restoring natural dams, by planting nativate trees and restoring natural pounds
- Removing artificial dams to restore the natural river system
- Investing in the protection and restoration of wetlands, by removing invasive species, dredging and depositing clean sand and sediment, and seeding with native plants and grass.
- Restoring natural river banks, by minimizing excessive and unnatural grazing and introducing specific trees, such as willows, create barriers, but also new habitats for wildlife.
- Reconnecting rivers with their floodplains, to encourage natural fertilization of soils and minimize sediment across river channels.
- Regenerating depleted agricultural soils, by introducing permaculture practices
- Restoring micro plots of land in urban settings, by creating green spaces, establishing urban woodland and other wildlife habitat in public spaces, building permeable sidewalks and rehabilitating contaminated industrial areas.
Thankfully, restoration work is already underway across the globe.
Millions of acres of marine and terrestrial ecosystems are actively being rehabilitated. Many of these are being driven by major organizations such as the Bonn Challenge, Global Mangrove Alliance, AFR100 and Initiative 20x20. Many restoration efforts are being driven by legislation and state and federal agencies. Still many more are driven by private entities.
There are also small scale ways to think about restoration and regeneration that any individual or company can consider. Do you have a yard? If so, consider diversifying the grass across your lawn, and incorporating native plants and trees. Start raising bees. Start a garden and explore permaculture. Do you have a roof? Consider a green roof. If you are involved in your local community, look for ways to advocate for local restoration efforts, such as building green spaces or installing permeable sidewalks where these are feasible.
If reading about ways to Restore Our Planet and join in Earth Day 2021 efforts is as inspiring to you as it is to EcoEnclose, check out our two supporting resources:
- Nine Ways Businesses Can Strengthen Their Environmental Commitment This Earth Day
- 21 Tips to Help Citizens and Consumers Honor the Planet this April
And take advantage of our THREE exciting Earth Day 2021 Offers, including (1) Pre-Printed Earth Day Mailers, (2) 50% Off Printing Plates for Designs That Promote Sustainability and (3) Earth Day Notecards and Stickers.