Much of the modern day environmental movement was inspired by Rachel Carson's Silent Spring published in 1962. I am reminded of the fact that this book, written by one woman, inspired so many to work for change for our environment. This spirit continues today and got me thinking, what are the smaller things each of us can do that will collectively make a difference? Think it doesn't matter? Think again.
People can and will continue to work to make the world a more sustainable place Our growers do this every day by opting to farm without the use of hazardous chemicals. This can make the work more time consuming and the fruit more expensive but there is value in knowing your food source is safe for you and your family and you are supporting people caring for the earth.
At FruitShare, we installed Solar panels on our big white barn last year and our office is happily powered by the sun. Our boxes are made from recycled cardboard they use roughly 75% less energy to make than “virgin” paper pulp. They can be recycled up to 5 times, after which point they can still be used as compost or animal bedding. Furthermore, our cardboard does not undergo any bleaching process.
1.) Decrease your monthly emissions: walk, bike, carpool, and ride public transport more. Drive less whenever you can. Your ability to cut back on driving depends somewhat upon your locale (we are on a farm but not too rural), but give it some thought. Can you carpool to soccer practice? Do you have to make that special trip for groceries? Can you combine errands? Can you work from home some days?
2.) Shop with the environment/communities in mind. Find companies that advocate sustainability. Find products that last, services you value, and people working to make a difference and support them. Many companies are able to donate to organizations to help others less fortunate or to fund research. Toms shoes for example donates a pair of shoes for every pair sold. FruitShare donates thousands of pounds of organic fruit annually to area food banks and Charity events like the ALS Bike Trek MN. Our friends at Bell Lap Coffee have a Coffee for a Cure to raise money and awareness for ALS research. You the consumer have a lot of power to support the businesses you value and believe in.
3.) Bring your own bags and skip the plastic packaging OR recycle those plastic bags! Keep them out of the landfills. According to the EPA blog:" In 2011, Americans produced around 250 million tons of waste, 32 million tons of that solid waste was plastic. That’s 4.4 pounds of waste per person per day! It’s up to you to help keep plastic bags and other waste out of landfills." Every bit does matter.
4.) Start composting and keep food waste out of landfills. In fact, the first step is to reduce food waste. Make a plan, shop accordingly, and eat leftovers! Next, start a compost for all of your organic food matter (fruits and veggies). Use it on your garden or spread it back out into the yard. We will share more on gardening in the coming months.
5.) Pay it forward and teach the next generation. Teach children and young people our actions matter. Even our day to day actions add up to a lifetime of being stewards of the earth. We all walk the planet for only a short time. There is so much to be thankful for and we are truly blessed to share this planet with you. Let’s celebrate Earth Day today and everyday!