Earth Day – honoured annually on 22 April – aims to raise awareness of the alarming climate crisis we’re all facing. Founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson in 1970 following an oil spill in Santa Barbara, it is now recognised across the globe.
During its 52 years, there have been many successes as a result of Earth Day. Notably, it paved the way for the 1992 UN Earth Summit, with its event back in 2000 addressing global heating and promoting ideas of switching to renewable, clean energy sources.
Another noteworthy milestone is of course the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2016 – an international pact of 175 countries that aims to prevent global heating, keeping temperatures from rising by more than 1.5C by the end of the century. While the recent Cop26, hosted in Glasgow, saw nations discuss ways in which the goal of reducing world fossil-fuel emissions to net zero by 2050 would be met.
The theme of this year’s Earth Day though is “Invest In Our Planet”. It centres on the ways in which governments, businesses and individuals should be investing in new green technologies that can benefit the planet.
There really is no downplaying the climate crisis. The most recent landmark UN report warned that we must bring global emissions to a decline in the next three years, otherwise, there will be a “catastrophic” rise in temperature.
Within the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) latest paper, Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change, scientists said it’s “now or never”. Alongside the unprecedented climate catastrophes we’ve witnessed, the report proves the importance of raising awareness of the crisis.
At IndyBest we believe that every day should be Earth Day, and we should continually be looking out for Mother Nature. As such, the team have shared their favourite eco-friendly products that help them live their best, greenest life. From a reusable exfoliating mitt to biodegradable dog poo bags, we’ve got you covered in every aspect of life.
Emma Henderson (Editor)
Organibox mixed fruit and veg box: £26.55, Organibox.org
We all know about fruit and veg delivery boxes, but this brand’s USP is in the name – it’s fully organic. But why is that important? Using fewer pesticides, no manufactured herbicides or artificial fertilisers helps protect the health of the soil. Without good soil, we’re unable to grow crops.
Inside the mixed box, you’ll get everything from avocados and sweet potatoes, to cucumbers and even fennel bulbs. It will get you thinking about new recipes to make, so you’re not stuck in a rut cooking the same dishes week in, week out. Portion sizes are good, and while the produce is really fresh but doesn’t look perfect, it’s perfectly good to cook with. Although the fruit and veg comes from around the world, it’s never flown, which cuts its carbon footprint. There’s no plastic in the packaging, just cardboard and paper, which can be easily recycled. And with every box bought, 50p is donated Organibox’s charity partner, The Trussel Trust.
Ellie Fry (Deputy editor)
Face Halo body: £12.60, Feelunique.com
I love it when one of my favourite products just so happens to be eco-friendly, and if you’re a fake tan fanatic like me, you need this in your life. This large exfoliating mitt buffs away any old tan or pesky dry patches, leaving your skin smooth and shiny without irritation. One side is made of tiny microfibres that work to slough away dead skin, while the other softer side is perfect for general cleaning.
These mitts are far more reusable than other products, including the exfoliating gloves you often only get a few uses out of. And the brand also offers an upcycling scheme – you can send your old and unwanted products to a centre in Glasgow where they are used to create clothing.
The Face Halo body arrives in recyclable plastic packaging, but the brand has assured us that it is working towards removing this in order to become plastic-free.
Sarah Young (Assistant ecommerce editor)
Wild refillable natural deodorant: £25, Wearewild.com
Despite their environmental and health benefits, I’d never really considered natural deodorant as an option for me after hearing numerous horror stories about how much the transition stinks – literally. But after being sent a sample to test from Wild many months ago, I’ve since vowed never to use a traditional antiperspirant again. Unlike most drugstore antiperspirants, Wild is all-natural, dermatologically approved and has no sulphates, parabens or aluminium (which is often linked to causing breast cancer, but there is no conclusive evidence). The product is seriously chic and comes housed in a sleek case made from sustainable materials, with a range of different colours and scents to choose from – our favourite has to be cotton and sea salt, which is super fresh. But, does it really work? Absolutely.
The deodorant smells incredible and has a creamy consistency that leaves your pits feeling looked after. Plus, it even keeps sweat at bay thanks to the addition of tapioca starch, which is an absorptive powder derived from the Cassava plant. Genius. We also love that there are several ways to shop – you can make a one-off purchase, which costs £25 for the case and three refills of your choice, or it’s available on a subscription basis, which brings the price down to just £12. Yes, it’s more expensive than your standard roll-on, but we find that a single refill lasts us a good few months.
Daisy Lester (Ecommerce writer)
Veja venturi gravel natural grey women’s trainers: £120, Veja-store.com
Tread lightly on the planet in style with these Veja trainers – one of my favourite pairs. The Parisian brand is leading the way in terms of sustainable footwear and this pair boasts the label’s distinctive “V” branding and a slightly retro and timeless style.
Chunky trainers remain in vogue and these certainly suit the bill, as well as feel comfortable and supportive. Working just as well with jeans as with a flowy dress, they’ll be a wardrobe mainstay for spring and summer. The mesh is made from plastic bottles, the insole constructed from wild rubber and the lining made entirely from recycled polyester. If you’re as in love with the brand as I am, read our Veja trainer buying guide for more.
Eva Waite-Taylor (Senior ecommerce writer)
Kind Bag palms: £10, Kindbag.co
After attempting to go plastic-free for 2020, I realised the importance of having a bag for life always in my handbag so as to never be left short. Having spent a while trying to find the best one for me, I finally came across Kind Bag. The reusable shoppers are made from recycled plastic bottles, and there is a huge range of different patterns to choose from, but it’s this summery palm print that is my favourite. It’s large enough to hold a couple of night’s worth of shopping and fits nicely over my shoulder. And when it’s not in use, it neatly folds down to a small compact size and fits into the pocket that’s attached to the bag – ideal for always having on your person. Best of all, the brand donates one per cent of sales to charities that do their bit for the planet and its people, including Just One Ocean, the World Wildlife Fund for Nature UK, Breast Cancer Haven and Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.
Alex Lee (Writer)
Pela iPhone 12/iPhone 12 pro case: £27.95, Pelacase.com
Did you know that we throw away a mammoth 1.5 billion phone cases every year? Yup, it’s wild. So when I went in search of an eco-friendly phone case, I landed on some great ones from Canadian company Pela. It makes plant-based and fully compostable cases, which come in a whole range of styles, designs and colours. It’s super flexible, soft, and is surprisingly durable for something that looks fairly flimsy. There are even matching case designs for your AirPods. The icing on the case is that with every item Pela sells, the company pledges to donate a percentage of funds to ocean clean-up and preservation initiatives.
Jasper Pickering (Gaming writer)
The Little Foxy Workshop natural reusable beeswax food wraps: £9.95, Amazon.co.uk
Cling film has plenty of uses in the kitchen but its disposable nature makes even basic food prep and packed lunches feel needlessly wasteful. A good alternative is a beeswax wrap that can be used to keep food and ingredients fresh while also being reusable and easy to clean. The beeswax coating creates a natural seal when cooled and makes the material naturally malleable enough to store sandwiches, snacks and other food fresh without making a mess.
To wash them, all that’s needed is cold water before leaving each parchment out to dry before it can be folded away for later use. It’s a small change to your lunchbox preparations that can go a long way in reducing your plastic use over time.
Steve Hogarty (Tech writer)
LARQ bottle purevis: £95, Livelarq.com
I would sooner carry water around in my cupped hands than spend money on bottled water, but this LARQ water bottle is a much neater way of reducing plastic waste. By all accounts this is a fancy thermos with a cool party trick: it uses a special light embedded in the lid to silently blast your H2O with ultraviolet rays every two hours, which is proven to eliminate harmful bacteria such as E. coli.
Does it work? Well, I haven’t keeled over with dysentery yet, but then London’s tap water is hardly putting this thing through its paces. Where it really makes a difference is in keeping your bottle fresh on those occasions when you forget to wash it for a few days. Where other bottles get that certain mustiness, the LARQ stays fresher for longer. You should still wash it manually every so often, of course, but when you’re running late and you don’t have time to scrub, your water’s still going to taste like water.
Emma Rossiter (Freelance)
Adios compostable and biodegradable dog poo bags, pack of 120: £10, Petsathome.com
Like many other families, we took full advantage of the time spent at home in the first lockdown to finally get a puppy. He’s certainly kept me on my toes, and while a lot of the time it is still fun and games, when it comes to clearing up after him, I consider it no laughing matter. While most poo bags are made from plastic and break down into tiny microplastic particles that harm our environment, Adios’s bags are made from cornstarch. This makes them 100 per cent compostable and biodegradable – meaning they naturally break down in three to six months – while still being strong and durable. No ripped bags and no harmful plastics, plus, one per cent of its gross revenue goes towards helping charities that clean up our environment and save wildlife. Everyone’s a winner.
Lois Borny (Freelance)
Nature’s Store hazelnut and cocoa spread, 350g: £2.25, Sainsburys.co.uk
The appeal in making vegan-friendly swaps is simple: munch your way to becoming more eco-friendly. And given that we could potentially each reduce our dietary carbon footprint by up to 73 per cent by ditching meat and dairy, it just seems like a good way in. But making these switches is only as palatable as the vegan alternatives you can get your hands on. At first, I would go for wildly disappointing, dairy-free versions of my favourite chocolate treats, but nothing gave me the milky sweet hit I was craving. But now, I’m slightly obsessed with this chocolatey creation from Nature’s Store. Gluten-free and devilishly thick and creamy, it spreads over toast like a dream, though I’m partial to spooning it straight from the jar. Add fruit if you must.
Emily Goddard (Freelance)
Russbe reusable freezer bags, pack of 8: £13.49, Lakeland.co.uk
UK households throw away 6.6 million tonnes of food a year, which is responsible for 25 million tonnes of CO2 emissions. Carefully storing leftovers for eating later could help, but storing them in single-use plastic food bags could create an entirely separate waste problem.
These reusable food bags help keep my conscious clear and are super handy. I’ve used them for storing leftover curries and sauces that I’ve kept in the freezer until reheating for dinner another day - and they’re equally handy for picnics, packed lunches and on-the-go snacks. The seal is effective and keeps food fresh while preventing leaks, and the bags wash up brilliantly either by hand in or in the dishwasher. They come with a three-year guarantee, so you get some idea of how hardwearing they are.
Bambaw reusable make-up remover pads, pack of 16: £13.50, Boots.com
While make-up gives me plenty of joy, and I adore applying the whole lot from time to time, having to use cotton pads to remove it is definitely a downside. Not only are they single use, but the production process also takes quite the toll on the environment. I swapped to reusable pads a couple of years ago and have never looked back. Initially, I was worried the material might be too rough and could irritate the skin while rubbing off the day’s look. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case and from Bambaw’s pack of 16, 12 velvety pads feel soft against the skin while the remaining four scrub pads are great for cleansing.
The pads come with a useful washing bag, and I’d recommend tying the strings into an extra knot, as some of them have managed to slip out from the bag and get lost in the machine over the years. Luckily as there are 16 of them, I still have plenty left and even if you wear make-up on the daily, they’ll last you a good two weeks before it’s time for a wash.
After years of removing mostly mascara, brow pencil and the occasional eyeshadow, it’s not surprising that these pads show traces of use. But, they still do the trick and I plan to continue to use them for a long time to come.
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Looking for more Earth Day content? Read our guide to the sustainable brands you need to bookmark, from fashion to homeware