earthday2016

Thank the Dirt: 3 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day 2016

For many, many years now, humans have used the Earth’s resources for their own survival and comfort. Ashamedly, we’ve also long abused this one planet of ours in the names of progress and industry. Up until 1970, Americans were slurping leaded gas through massive V8 SUVs, industrial plants belched out smoke and sludge unchecked, and air pollution was commonly accepted as the smell of prosperity. The environment was an afterthought, if a thought at all. Then, Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin proposed the first Earth Day, a movement that gave voice to an emerging consciousness, one that collectively channeled the human energy and effort being put toward solving these environmental issues we’d caused.

“It was on that day that Americans made it clear that they understood and were deeply concerned over the deterioration of our environment and the mindless dissipation of our resources,” Nelson once wrote. And by the end of that year, the first Earth Day had led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. This year, we’ll be celebrating for the 46th time a movement that continues to inspire change, challenge ideas, ignite passion, and motivate people to action.

The Fourth R of Recycling: Renew

While many folks may feel overwhelmed by the unfathomable, worldwide issue of environmental abuses, each of us can make a small difference in fixing those every day. By choosing alternative-energy source options and using recyclable and recycled materials like the ones below, together, we can help renew the earth – one new day at a time.

#1) Stout EcoSafe-6400 Compostable Trash Bags

organic waste bags
Stout EcoSafe-6400 Compostable Trash Bags

How many times have you spent the morning cleaning up the lawn and garden, only to pile everything you’ve just raked up into a huge, black, plastic bag just to be thrown away? Too many to count, huh? And not only are all those leaves going to waste (rather can being broken down and re-used as fertilizer), but you’re also introducing a new element of plastic waste into the mix.

However, with Stout EcoSafe Compostable Trash Bags, you can have a clean outdoors area around your house without polluting it at the end. These bags are especially engineered for the collection of organic waste such as leaves, twigs, wilted flowers, etc., and they’re a smart, environmentally-responsible alternative to using new, wasteful plastic bags. These will typically degrade in 10 to 45 days and biodegrade in less than 6 months in a commercial compost facility, all without leaving any harmful, toxic residues behind. These sturdy trash bags come in multiple sizes and widths, but keep in mind that they do have a shelf-life – since they are designed to break down over time, whether or not they’ve been filled – so make sure you’ve got some gardening on the horizon when you’re buying.

#2) Mavea Elemaris Kompact 5-Cup Water Filtration Pitcher

water filter
MAVEA 1001492 Elemaris Kompact 5-Cup Water Filtration Pitcher, Black

Think about the 8 cups of water you’re recommended to drink every day. Now think about the 7 billion people across the world who are supposed to be consuming that. If every single person were to drink water from plastic bottles and then discard them for the sake of convenience (like we so often do in America), we’d have new plastic mountains of waste every day.

However, with the Mavea Elemaris Filtration Pitcher, we can save millions of plastic bottles from wastefully entering the landfill. Mavea is a subsidiary of the world’s leading water filtration company that first invented the device 45 years ago in Germany. And while each of their water filters replaces three hundred 500-ml bottles, on top of that, they’re the only company that runs a sustainable, comprehensive filter take-back and recycling program. With them, every part is reused; nothing goes to the landfill.

Now, maybe you’ve used a different filtration system before, but Mavea takes it to the next level. First, when it comes to changing the filter, there’s no more guessing. The filter change indicator measures filter life in 3 ways: you receive a signal to replace it based on the length of time the filter’s been in use, your consumption, and the quality of your water.

Second, Mavea filters significantly improve the quality and taste of your water. 85% of all households have hard tap water and, while technically safe to drink, it contains substances that affect its taste, smell, appearance, and overall quality. The filters take out the bad – such as drastically reducing chlorine taste and odor, making your drinking water clearer and refreshingly delicious. They also leave in the good – such as calcium and silica for healthy bones and teeth. As a result, Mavea filtered water improves the taste of coffee, tea, concentrated beverages, and ice cubes, and it can also increase the life span of domestic appliances by reducing limescale build up.

Remember, healthy water is balanced water — it has taste, healthy minerals, and an absence of harmful contaminants.

 #3) Oenophilia Recycled Glass Wine Bottle Tumblers

recycled glass tumblers
Oenophilia Recycled Glass Wine Bottle Tumblers, Assorted Colors – Set of 4

Great for your Mavea filtered water and your favorite eco-friendly wine alike, these Oenophilia drink tumblers made from recycled wine bottles are a smart way to enjoy the fruits of the earth without destroying it.

The tumblers are made from recycled glass and, taking ecological responsibility very seriously, they are repurposed once again. The tops of the bottles have been used elsewhere, and their bases have morphed into drinkware. They come in packs of 4 in assorted, deep, rich colors, and of different diameters, so they’re the perfect size, no matter your favorite beverage. These tumbler glasses are solidly thick, truly unique, and a great conversation starter for addressing environmental issues – all at an affordable price.

So while it may feel like you’re just one person in a larger world on this Earth Day and, as a result, any action you make will have very little impact, experts say otherwise. As Mia Yamaguchi, of the CoolClimate Network has pointed out, “There are many, many things that any one person can do to manage their own environmental impacts, which I think makes it really different from worries like the national debt or U.S. foreign policy.”  In those cases, “I can probably write a letter to a politician, maybe donate to a cause,” she said. “But if I actually start looking at what it would take to improve my vehicle’s fuel efficiency by 5 miles per gallon – that makes a big difference.”

Always remember, we all bear the responsibility for taking care of this one Earth we have to share.

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