Today is the 21st of September, this is Zero Emission Day, or also called ZeDay. The use of renewable energies instead of fossil is the focus. Reducing emissions which destroy our planet and do harm which cannot be changed. Global warming is a fact and it is a problem made by humans. ZeDay is there to remind everyone of us and to propose easy small steps towards a greener approach.

What does “emission” mean?

Following the dictionary it is the “act of sending out gas, heat, light, etc.”. Meaning technically any release. But in the usage we are rather talking about industrial emission when talking about ZeDay. All your body releases as CO2 when breathing, or sweat when doing sport are also emissions. But this is day is not about “not breathing” but emissions from industry, planes, cars and other technical, man-made emissions. There are emissions from burning coal or oil which are harming much more than you running a bit. And it is these emissions we are talking about!

The idea of ZeDay

The idea of ZeDay is to move towards renewable energies instead of fossil ones. Zero emission does not exist, we will always emit something. And that is ok.

But the oil and gas or the coal we use is limited and strongly polluting. There is no argument why to use them. The arguments often used are “we always did so” or “it is easy”. The same reasons to buy fast fashion instead of ethical clothes. No reason to think ,no reason to change.

But our planet desperately needs this change and all of you can be part of this.

The idea of the zero emission day is to give a break to the planet. The event was launched in 2008 from Ken Wallace a graphic designer working for Sealevel Special Projects in Canada. The 21st of September was chosen as this is as well the International Day of Peace in the United States.

There are four guidelines given by the ZeDay founders:
1. Don’t use or burn oil or gas or coal.

2. Minimize (or eliminate) your use of electricity generated by fossil fuels.

3. Don’t put anyone in harm’s way: All essential and emergency services operate normally.

4. Do your best, have fun, enjoy the day!

How you can participate

Most importantly: talk about it! As for any action, if we want to change something we need to share the message. We need to get as many people as possible informed. As only if we all make a small step we will make an impact. So inform your friends, family and colleagues.

Bike, walk, metro

Leave your car on the parking spot and join work differently. Walk or use the bike or public transport as metro or bus- these are easy steps though reducing emission.

Eat local vegan

The meat industry is a huge factor to CO2 emission. Not only due to cattle but as well due to transport emissions. Cook with seasonal vegetable which grow in your region instead of buying food from the other side of the planet.

Go to bed early

Sounds like fun to sleep a bit more, right? This is a super easy step to less emission. If you go to bed earlier, no need for light. Less electricity = less emission. Being lazy was never so important.

Chose renewable energy

Today you can chose between the energy suppliers and you can chose to get your electricity from renewable energy. This will take around 30 minutes to make the change- not too much as the effect will last, right? Plus if you compare a bit, you will even not pay more expensive. Try and you will be surprised.

Fashion is part of the problem

In 2019 the fashion industry did account for 10% of the global carbon emissions. This is more than air and sea transport together. Estimations say it will rise to 50% until 2030.

The industry is responsible for 20% of global wastewater pollution.

The fast fashion industry is part of the problem and also here we need to act to change.

Repair and re-wear

To move towards change first of all wear what you have instead of buying new. We are sure you have many pieces in your wardrobe which you rarely wear. How about moving towards a capsule wardrobe- you can find the guide here.

But repair as well. Don’t you have pieces on which a button is missing or which have a small hole and you thought about repairing these since a while? Do it and you are part of the change!

Quality over quantity

If you need something new, buy quality instead of quantity. Chose natural fibres and local production and chose carefully. Like this you can be sure that the new pieces will last and you need to buy less often.

You are never too small to make a change

What Greta Thunberg did teach us is an important message: no one is too small to make an impact. Every little action counts if we want to save our planet.

Plug out electrical devices you do not need, heat a bit less, walk instead of using the car- it can be small steps which together make the difference.

Our planet needs actions from all of us. No-one is a super-hero and can do it on their own. The planet needs teamwork from you and us! Let’s start today on the Zero Emission Day and never stop.

Just because something seems impossible you should not give up before even trying.