As Earth Day 2021 creeps upon us, it got me thinking about a time when I was on holiday in South America which really opened my eyes more than ever that we should be protecting the environment. In September 2019 I went on holiday to Mexico and had the opportunity to go snorkelling to see the exotic fish and green turtles, and what was supposed to be an amazing experience it turned out to be a pretty shocking and upsetting one. As I dived into the sea with my mask and snorkel, I suddenly noticed how pale the coral was. I was aware that coral reefs were in danger and slowly dying off, but I was really taken aback seeing it in person. Whilst I was floating along and admiring the majestic turtles, I noticed one of them had what looked like growths all around her neck. I swam closer to this turtle as I was intrigued to see what it was and to my surprise it was tumours! They were covering her whole neck, I felt hopeless as there wasn’t anything I could do. It turns out that the tumours are caused by a herpes virus specific to turtles. The virus is triggered by something in the turtle’s environment which is down to pollution and climate change.
I have always cared for the environment but this trip sparked a flame in my heart to do even more. When I got back from Mexico, I felt compelled to help the environment in any way I could and I’m lucky enough to be able to apply this within The Customise Company. We recycled our cardboard and our new lines of Bunnies are stuffed with recycled products made into stuffing. This is a great step in the right direction, and I hope other small business will follow suit.
Some of our toys (the 30cm ones) take 14 recycled water bottles to create all the fibres for them! Our eco-friendly soft toys which are made from recycled polyester, takes 59% less energy to create than other toys. We are also due to release more eco-friendly toys which are more suited for babies this month and our newer toys have embroidered eyes instead of the hard plastic ones, which you will be more familiar seeing.
As COVID is slowly disappearing, I want to look back on the past year and how we as humans have unexpectedly helped mother nature. In March 2020, we all got told to ‘Stay home and save lives’ little did we know we would do much more than just save lives. We gave the earth some much needed breathing space.
We gave nature the space and serenity it needed to re-emerge. Some places saw rare species they have not seen in ages. A town in Poland had deer in its streets. A playground in California, hosted some wild turkeys. Even the world′s fashion capital Paris was not left out as wild pigs visited its streets. Olive Ridley turtles also came ashore on a beach in Odisha. Wildlife got the chance it needed to step out and explore.
We saw improved air quality in many parts of the world. This is a result of most factories and commercial establishments shutting down and vehicular movement was drastically reduced. There was a massive reduction in air pollution, this likely saved 20 times more lives in China that have currently been lost due to infection with COVID.
The River Ganga recorded improved water quality, The Yamuna in Delhi saw a reduction in pollution and the river was finally free of foam. In places such as Venice, boats lay still as the waterways become clean and clear for the first time in forever. The swans returned and you can see the fish. Lastly, the world’s oceans finally had a well needed break from the single use plastic polluting the sea.
To sum it up, please go and do your bit for mother nature even if that’s just recycling your cardboard and plastic! I hope you will all be getting out on Thursday and taking action, Happy Earth Day 2021 everyone!
Check out our Eco-Friendly Baby Names post in honour of Earth Day!