Here at Austin Recovery, we are striving to be a more ecologically-conscious organization. As part of these efforts we now have a Green Team who is working on initiatives to reduce waste, promote sustainability, and lower the carbon footprint of our organization. Being Earth Month and Earth Week (with Earth Day being this Sunday, April 22nd), it has been a busy time for the Green Team! Chair of our Green Team is Jodie Hooks, Accounts Payable Clerk. She has provided us with today’s guest blog post on Earth Day – a little about the history of the day, as well as some ways you can celebrate. Enjoy, and Happy Earth Day!
The celebration of Earth Day on April 22nd began in the United States in 1970 and was the brainchild of Senator Gaylord Nelson, who had long pondered about finding a way to “put the environment into the political ‘limelight’ once and for all” (his words). There are actually two Earth Day celebrations (the other one is held in March on the equinox, see “Tips”) but this blog focuses on the April 22 Earth Day, which is now celebrated in most countries of the world. Earth Day is a perfect time to reflect about what you are doing to help protect the environment. There are many ways that you can celebrate alone and with others.
- 1. Plant a tree. As the date also roughly coincides with U.S. Arbor Day, over time Earth Day has taken on the role of tree-planting. Planting trees helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, cleans pollution, secures soil in place to prevent erosion, and provides homes for a lot of biodiversity.
- Make nature crafts at school or home. Get together with your family and build a birdhouse or make a bird feeder to encourage the local bird population, which plays an important role in every ecosystem. Use objects that would’ve otherwise been thrown away to create beautiful works of art.
- Reduce, reuse and recycle all day long. Buy as little as possible and avoid items that come in lots of packaging. Support local growers and producers of food and products – these don’t have to travel as far and so reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Take your drink container with you, and don’t use any disposable plates or cutlery. Recycle all the things you do use for the day or find other uses for things that you no longer use. Carry a cloth bag for carrying things in and recycle your plastic bags
- Rid litter. Rid litter from our roadways. Many groups use the weekend of Earth Day to clear roadways, highways and neighborhood streets of litter that has accumulated since the last clean-up day. Many companies donate gloves and bags for clean-up groups and villages organize bag pick-ups. Once the group has collected the trash and placed the recycled bags along the road, get the public works department to pick the bags up. It’s a wonderful community project. Great for scout troops, rotary clubs and the like.
- Create a “Green Team” at work!!! Get everyone involved at your place of business to create a “waste free” facility!