5 ways to improve our planet’s health (that actually work)

Leave No Trace Ireland | AIBF

We only have one planet – we need it, and it needs us.

To keep humans and the planet healthy, we want to be part of a movement to create societies focused on sustainability and well-being.

At the AIBF we believe that by taking care of our planet, we’re also taking care of ourselves.

And to mark World Health Day we’ve partnered with Business All-Star Accredited NGO Leave No Trace who have revealed 5 practical things that you can do that actually make a difference to the health and wellbeing of the planet we call home.

Read their expert advice below…

Our wellbeing

As more and more people move to urban centres, it’s becoming clear how much our connection to outdoor spaces matters. Since the onset of COVID19, more and more of us have been getting outside.

Research commissioned by Sport Ireland shows that during the pandemic, there was an additional 500,000 regular walkers; 450,000 runners; and 220,000 cyclists.

Many mental health organisations now promote time in nature, highlighting how “nature can generate a multitude of positive emotions – such as calmness, joy, creativity and can facilitate concentration. Connection with nature is also associated with lower levels of poor mental health; in particular lower depression and anxiety levels.”

Our Planet’s Wellbeing

Our planet is both unimaginably big, and so very very small. Billions of people, plants and animals live here – and still, our everyday choices matter.

To improve the well-being of our planet, we all need to make moves to live as sustainably as possible. This can be through recycling more, conducting litter picks, moving away from fossil fuels, taking part in community-led nature restoration, or filling our gardens with insect-friendly plants.

Leave No Trace Ireland | AIBF

Pictured above: The Leave No Trace team pictured at the launch of their Love This Place campaign.

Here are five simple ways to take better care of ourselves and our planet.
1. Learn about our ecosystems and impacts

The first step for us all is to learn more about how what we do affects the world around us.

One way to learn more about Leaving No Trace is to do our short, free online course. When we know more about our environments, we can take better care of it, but also enjoy recognising details that we may have missed before!

2. Increasing and maintaining our protected areas

Leading national environmental groups have joined forces to launch a new campaign to rapidly expand Marine Protected Areas in Irish Waters.

The Fair Seas campaign is calling for at least 10% of Irish waters to be designated as ‘Fully Protected’ by 2025 and at least 30% by 2030. Joining campaigns like Fair Seas helps their message and information reach further, as well as alerting decision makers to what the public feel is important.

3. The National Spring Clean is on for the month of April in Ireland – organised by An Taisce, this project is a nationwide anti-litter campaign which takes place during the whole month of April.

In 2021, 5,548 groups registered to carry out clean-ups throughout the country, with an estimated 2,800 tonnes of litter collected.

4. Go for a walk in your local area

By spending some quiet time outside in our local areas, we can find new places to unwind and relax.

When we feel better and more at home in our natural environments, we have the chance to fall in love with nature, and possibly think of new ways to help take care of it.

5. Ask yourself: What’s the most important change I can make today?

No one is perfect or have the answers to everything – one of the most important things that we can all do is work together. Through collaborating, mentoring, sharing our experiences, and listening to what we have each learnt, we can broaden our understanding of what can help the planet, and in turn us.

To learn more about Leave No Trace Ireland, visit their All-Star showcase page here.