On 22nd April, the world will celebrate the 45th anniversary of Earth Day. This year’s theme, “It’s Our Turn to Lead”is a call for citizens around the world to unite and compel our world’s leaders to prioritise sustainability – such as renewable energy as opposed to fossil fuels – and the welfare of our environment no matter the perceived economic cost.

Here at Bread and Water for Africa UK, we know that impoverished communities feel the negative effects of global climate change more acutely than communities in the developed world. Grassroots action and sustainability have been core components of our philosophy since our inception over eleven years ago.

Whether through sustainable farms that feed orphans supported through our children’s programmes, or by offering accessible trainings to local farmers on the latest zero-grazing strategies to re-use land in a safe way – our team prioritises responsible development as the only way forward. We often find that our grass-roots partners already factor in a respectful approach to our Mother Earth in their project design – and we simply follow their lead!

But you don’t have to start your own farm or conduct full-scale training across Kenya s in order to celebrate Earth Day along with us! Here are five ways you can take your “turn to lead”:

1. Think outside the car! – Do you find yourself mindlessly hopping in the car to drive short distances, or dashing out the door and in and out of your car to run errands as they crop up on your to-do list? This week, take the opportunity to walk to your local grocery or ride your bike to work and enjoy some of the lovely spring weather! And when you find that you simply have to use your car, take a minute to review your to-do list and see if you can’t combine several errands into one car trip to save on petrol and emissions.

2. Paper-free is the way to be – Sick of getting tons of depressing bills in your post box day after day? Spend the week collecting your mail and calling the collectors to see if you can’t automate some of your payments using online methods or simply switch to email statements instead.

3. Volunteer your time and clean locally – The power of many local acts can have a huge global impact. So why not volunteer this week-end at a local river or park clean-up? Or, why not contact your local parks office to organize a clean-up yourself? Volunteering is a great way to spend time outdoors and re-affirming your connection to the Earth while bettering it a little bit each day.

4. Lighten up your Lighting – How often are you leaving extra lamps and room lights on? Be extra vigilant and talk to your family or roommates about saving a bit of energy – cutting down your bill, an extra advantage! – by shutting lights and unplugging appliances when you leave a room. And consider switching your lightbulbs to compact fluorescent lightbulbs which last ten times longer than normal light bulbs and use 2/3 less energy.

5. Learn and share! – Even though Earth Day is just one day per year, the mission to save our environment is year-round. By reading up on the environment, climate change, and current issues facing the world and your local community – you’ll be keener to take regular opportunities to be more “Earth-friendly” and can act as an advocate by getting your family, friends, church, book club, or whomever to join you!

And of course, you can help us celebrate by supporting our latest Earth-friendly project – a chicken coop providing a local, sustainable food source for 160 impoverished Burundian students in Bujumbura – and donating today!