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Climate change   |   Environment & ethics   |   Ethical business

Earth Day: ‘Switch energy and bank’

People are being urged to switch to renewable energy suppliers and ethical banks as part of the yearly global event Earth Day (22 April).

The campaign, called Earth Day Switch, aims to capitalise on lockdown as a chance for people to tackle life admin and become more sustainable.

It coincides with Earth Day 2020, the annual global event held to encourage and celebrate acts of environmental protection. 

According to new research from ethical bank Triodos, a third of Brits are using lockdown as a chance to make green lifestyle changes like switching bank or energy supply or reducing food waste, new research has found.

The new survey of 2,000 adults, commissioned by Triodos, found spring cleaning, gardening, and reducing food waste top the list of changes people are making at home since the coronavirus outbreak, followed by reducing plastic waste, walking or cycling,and no longer buying fast fashion.

Simple changes that have the biggest positive impact were at the bottom of the list, including changing to a renewable energy provider and switching to an ethical bank.

Wind energy
Switching to a renewable energy supplier is an easy way to divest money from fossil fuels.

According to NGO BankTrack, the top five UK banks have invested more than £150 billion into financing fossil fuels since the Paris Agreement in 2016, including £45bn for the expansion of fossil fuels.

“The fossil fuels industry is by far the most damaging to our global climate,” said Dr Alexandra Jellicoe, public and environmental health scientist. “Reducing our dependence on these polluting fuels is arguably the single most urgent challenge we face if we are to avoid a really unmanageable climate crisis in the next few decades.

“We all need to make sure our money isn’t supporting an industry that is harming our planet. Switching your bank or savings provider is an effective way to make a difference and reduce the flow of money towards oil, gas and coal projects.”

Triodos' chief executive, Bevis Watts, said: “Switching banks is one of the most powerful environmental changes you can make as an individual. You can have impact by aligning your money with your values and can choose to prevent your money from financing arms, pesticides, plastic packaging or fossil fuels.

“We have a unique opportunity to build a more sustainable society in the wake of this pandemic – one that puts people and planet first.”

Earth Day is taking place digitally across the world as people share examples of environmental actions and campaigns.

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