Welcome friends in sustainability! About a billion of us around the globe are pausing to show support for planet this Earth Day, April 22nd. And as we watch our world leaders pledge to take action, here are a few simple commitments we can think about making ourselves:
1. Recycle right
Our best intentions, or what gets called “wishcycling” when you toss everything into the recycling bin, are actually crippling our local recycling economies. The U.S. recycles less than 22% of discarded materials. The #1 thing you can do is check with your city’s recycling on what can and cannot be recycled – especially those plastic numbers! Read more tips from the blog here.
Bonus action: We created all these materials, so it’s up to us to use them, not waste them. Help us drive demand for recycled products by shopping the Made From Recycled collection!
The average American wastes about 1lb of food per day, adding up to 300 Million lbs per day across our households! By composting, we could help reduce the amount sent to landfill by at least 30%. Woah, no wonder it’s one of the biggest things we can do as individuals to make a difference. Search any compost/pick-up options near you. And if you’re feeling ambitious, read more about the ways you can compost yourself here from our friends at Go Posty and get comfortable with the ‘c’ word.
Zero to Go Kit: Collapsible Drink & Cutlery
WHY: Almost half our plastic is made for single-use and less than 10% is actually getting recycled, talk about a permanent impact.
3. BYO to skip single use
Isn’t it crazy when you stop to think nearly half the plastic we make is designed for ONE TIME use? As mom would say, “you’re better than that.” Invest in quality reusables – like the conveniently collapsible coffee cup and water bottle found in our NEW Zero to Go Kit (above)!
4. Reduce your plastic/packaging
If you thought the recycling stat above was bad, like less than 10% of plastic gets recycled. And we continue to churn in out at faster rates that ever even though we’re each now ingesting about a credit card’s worth of microplastics a week! We’ve all got to make conscious changes to cut out the wasteful packaging where we can.
Here’s a video worth watching:
5. Get involved locally
For staying informed on local issues, as reported in The New York Times, “It might be more effective to join a local environmental advocacy organization,” said Kimberly Ong, a lawyer with the Natural Resources Defense Council, “though not necessarily a big national one. Plus, states and municipalities have different rules, which can be hard to navigate by yourself.”
“There are a few reasons you, as a local, have more power this way: You’re the expert on your area, your health might be affected, and you have a say in whether the politicians or officials responsible keep their jobs,” she said. Here’s a few ideas to get started online or social media.
- Seek out your state and city environmental, sustainability, recycling and other agencies
- Look for local wildlife, parks and other conservation groups
- Search for Zero/Low Waste/Green/Eco Facebook groups in your community
- Join a state/local chapter of a national organization like Sierra Club or Audubon Society
6. Eat Less Meat
According to this great article in The Atlantic, food production accounts for roughly a quarter of the world’s greenhouse-gas emissions, and scientists have found that limiting global warming will be impossible without significant changes to how the world eats. Two habits tower above all others in terms of environmental impact: To help save the planet, quit wasting food and eat less meat. And when you’re at the store, there is one dietary change to consider that beats all others in terms of its climate impact: eat less meat. Read more!
About Earth Day
How it all began: Amidst student anti-war movements in 1970, Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson had the idea to harness that energy for a “national teach-in on the environment” event. The catalyst? A terrible Santa Barbara oil spill that killed thousands of animals in its 800-mile oil slick. On April 22nd the first Earth Day (chosen to fall between spring break and final exams), 20 million Americans came out to rallies across the country. It united people and party lines and by the end of 1970, led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air Act.