I’m not sure if anyone else has noticed the world around you in light of being restricted to our homes, but what a great place we live in. Regardless if you are in a city or suburbs, if you look around you will find beauty in the smallest places. Beauty that we may not have noticed in the past, but what a great opportunity to recognize it and make a difference. It got me thinking though, where did this idea come from? What parked the thought and how did it grow to what it is today? So I did some reading, now known as googling…
50 years ago today, a modern day movement was created. It took 20 years for it to wrap the world and today we know it as Earth Day, but where did the idea come from? Did something happen that made someone, somewhere say to themselves, “enough was enough?” Well, the answer is yes. It took an oil spill and a senator with a purpose. It was January 28, 1969 when part of the Dos Cuadras Offshore Oil Field ruptured and spilled crude oil into Santa Barbara Channel for 10 days. 80,000 to 100,000 barrels of crude oil spilled onto the beaches into the waters around Santa Barbara, California. The then Senator Gaylord Nelson came up with an idea calling it a “national teach-in on the environment.” While targeting the college crowds of the time (think post-Vietnam War college crowds) Sen. Nelson realized he could use the protest energy of the time and infuse it with an environmental element. So, a date was chosen between Spring Break and Final Exams…April 22, 1970. That first year, 20 million people (10% of the population at the time) took to the streets.
“By the end of 1970, the first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air Act. Two years later, Congress passed the Clean Water Act. A year after that, Congress passed the Endangered Species Act.”
Fast forward 50 years and now more than a billion people celebrate and take action on Earth Day and you can mark us down as two in that billion. It doesn’t take a lot of action and it doesn’t take a political stance. It just takes little steps. By no means are we preaching here. We certainly are not the model for Zero Waste, but we hope to join in on making small changes that hopefully can add up over time. To help us, and you too if you choose, we’ve compiled a list of ideas that are achievable today as we try to better ourselves and teach our kids about the small things we can do. Join along and feel free to share some of your ideas too!
- Cloth Napkins – instead of paper napkins at home, use cloth. I’m not talking fancy cloth napkins here and I’m certainly not talking about rolling up your finest silverware in it. What we did was use Flour Sack Towels and cut them into 4 pieces. We use one throughout the day unless its chicken wings and pizza night. You don’t want to reuse that one until it’s been washed.
- Get your hands dirty…plant trees, flowers or veggies…the bees and butterflies will thank you!
- Use reusable shopping bags instead of plastic ones.
- Grab a tumbler from EMarie Tumblers and reuse it instead of using disposable cups.
- Read a real book instead of streaming or listening to one. Grab one of our bookmarks to mark your spot…shameless plug.
- Buy locally – less transportation costs and the money stays within the community.
- Turn off the water between brushing your teeth or shaving. Don’t skimp on washing the hands though!
- Turn off lights and ceiling fans while not in the room. Fans cool people, not rooms.
- This one is my personal favorite…Focus on experiences and not things. Get outside and go for a walk. Listen to the birds and the sounds around you!
Like I said earlier, we are by no means the model for Earth Day. We only do 3 of the above on a regular basis…thanks Elly! But today, on the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, we pledge to try at least these ideas to make a difference. If you have any other ideas, we would love to hear them!
In addition to the ideas listed below, remember that every order placed with us in 2020 will plant a tree with OneTreePlanted.org.
Learn more here: https://cottonseedmarketplace.com/cottonseed-cares/five-year-forest/