Getting eco-aware this September

While it can feel like there are a lot of eco-aware days to keep track of. They play an important role in continually raising awareness of the need to be greener.

The month of September has two key eco-aware dates – Zero Emissions Day on the 21st September, and Car Free Day on 22nd September. These two international events are intrinsically linked. After all, if you leave your car at home for a day, you are producing zero emissions from the vehicle. So over these two days, it’s a great time to think about small steps you can take and new habits you can form to reduce your impact on the environment that little bit further.

How did they begin?

scenic view of a rocky shore
Photo by Alex Tapia on

Zero Emissions Day was started by an environmental activist in 2008 Nova Scotia, Canada. The idea behind the day was to give the planet a break from fossil fuels for a day a year, while raising awareness of the damage that carbon emissions cause to the environment.

Car Free Day has more of a history, having begun in 2000. The day is aimed at encouraging people to find alternatives to using their cars. And perhaps even beginning a new, car-free travelling arrangement. It is celebrated across the world with activities such as car-free zones, walking tours and organised bike rides.

What eco-aware actions can we take?

Most of the things we can do to support these days are simple swaps in our everyday activities.

To mark both Zero Emissions Day and Car Free Day, the most obvious step is to leave the car at home for the day! Give yourself extra time to make sure essential journeys can be completed by walking, cycling or taking public transport.

If you really do need to take the car somewhere, look at carpooling with others to reduce the amount of vehicles all travelling to the same place.

Other actions that you can take on Zero Emissions Day, and hopefully carry on include:

  • Turning off your electronics when you’re not using them including lights and chargers
  • Planting flowers and vegetables. Spinach and broad beans can be planted ready for spring. As for flowers, Marigolds can survive the winter months to give you a colourful bloom the following year
  • Being sure you recycle everything you can and get the family involved too. Double check before something gets thrown in the general waste.
  • Looking for something second hand before making a purchase for a new item. Remember with you can search multiple pre-loved retailers and sites at once. So it’s easy to find what you’re looking for.

Eco-awareness days are also a great time to talk to children and young people about the importance of caring for the environment. There are plenty of great ideas online that can be accessed for free. From colouring sheets, writing activities and templates for posters to promote the events.

Get more informed about Second Hand September or head to Oxfam to get involved.

Leave a comment