Making Earth Day Matter!

April 19th, 2015 - posted under: Furthermore » Inspiration

Santa Barbara Earth Day

Happy impending Earth Day!

Earth Day is one of my absolute favorite holidays: a day to celebrate, and recommit ourselves, to this big blue planet we call home. And as the eco-conscious, sustainably-minded folks that we are, I know that all of us are already doing boatloads of good for ol’ Mother Earth.

But . . . I bet that if we’re honest, we’ll also admit that each and every one of us has some area of life where we’ve let some . . . less-than-Earth-loving . . . habits slip through the cracks. And maybe now, this Earth Day, is the time to remedy that!

Bonzai Aphrodite Earth Day

This week, I had the pleasure of being featured in our local paper’s “Earth Day spotlight”, representing for veganism and helping people to make the connection between diet and the environment. What an honor!

There were 5 of us that were featured, each requesting that people “pledge” towards a more Earth-friendly behavior. And maybe YOU would like to make one of those pledges as well? Here are the 5 prompts from our local Earth Day organizers:

1) Pledge To Drive Less
Can you ride your bike to work one day per week? Make fewer car trips by combining errands or planning ahead to do them all on one day? If you drive 20 miles less every week for a whole year, you’ll reduce your CO2 emissions by 1020 pounds per year!

2) Pledge To Drive Hybrid Or Electric
*IF* you’re in the market for a new car some time in the coming year, please consider purchasing a new or used hybrid or electric vehicle! They come in all shapes and sizes (and prices) these days, with over 20 electric options and at least 40 hybrid ones. Used hybrids start at roughly $5,000, and brand new electrics lease for as little as $200 per month.

3) Pledge To Air Dry
Next time you wash a load of laundry, take advantage of the “Solar Dryer”, aka a clothes line. Now that the weather is warming up, its time to make this seasonal shift into delightfully crisp and fresh line-dried laundry! Drying 2 or 3 loads of laundry this way each week can add up to over 200 pounds of CO2 emissions saved each year.

4) Pledge To Use Less Plastic
Replace your plastic water bottle with stainless steel or glass. Refuse to accept plastic bags when you buy from stores – bring your own bags or just carry your purchases in your purse or arms. Look for the places where plastic adds up in your grocery cart (yogurt cups? “clamshell” produce packages?) and aim to reduce that by finding alternatives, buying in bulk, or making those items from scratch at home.

5) Pledge Veg!
Going vegetarian for even one day a week will drastically reduce your carbon and water footprints, and with programs like Meatless Mondays or VB6, it’s really easier than ever. I know that a lot of my readers here on Bonzai are not vegan or veg – and I think that’s GREAT! I love that you guys are here, open-hearted. And you’re probably already mindfully reducing your meat and dairy intakes, which is great as well. So this year for Earth Day, why not commit to whittling that reduction down even further?

Diet really is the one place where you can have the MOST impact in terms of personal power in effecting real change. So empower yourself, and eat more plants!

Earth Day Toms Of Maine

And what about us? What will Waits and I be doing to Make Earth Day Matter this year?

Well, we are super stoked to have been able to team up with Tom’s Of Maine (I’m a member of their Goodness Circle, remember) and TerraCycle, an incredible company that collects unwanted waste products (ie trash) and turns them into awesome new, usable items. It’s like upcycling on steroids! (also as a fun aside, Tom’s Of Maine was established as a company the same year that Earth Day began, and the very first Earth Day was in Santa Barbara HELLO SERENDIPITY)

Tom’s And TerraCylce sent us this giant box, so that we and our friends could fill it with old broken toys, which we’ll then ship back to them to be turned into products like tote bags, watering cans, and more. From useless to useful! It’s pretty freakin’ amazing, man.

Working together like this last year, Tom’s and TerraCycle kept 11,000 pounds of personal care packaging out of landfills, and that’s just the beginning (learn more here). Because now, you can sign up to join the Natural Care Brigade, so that YOU can send YOUR personal care packaging waste to TerraCycle to be upcycled, completely free of charge (Tom’s foots the bill). Seriously, it’s a great program – check it out!

Soooo, I feel like acknowledging right now that if this sounds like I’m just writing ad copy, ugh I’m sorry. It’s hard to write about this stuff without it sounding like a shill, but you’ll really have to just trust me when I say that I may be officially “partnered” with these companies, but I also believe with all of my being in what they are doing. That’s why I’ve agreed to partner with them! I’m so impressed, just so completely impressed, with their dedication to solving the problems that face manufacturers and consumers today. I mean, Tom’s is committed to reaching a “ZERO packaging waste in landfills” goal, and I think that is something worth talking about!

Anyway, here’s a shot video about Tom’s, TerraCycle, and the work they’re doing to reduce landfill waste (and how!):

So what do you think, guys? How are you celebrating Earth Day this year? I’d love to hear from you!


♥ ♥ ♥

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