Why this Earth Day is So Significant and 9 Steps You Can Take to Make a Difference
It seems appropriate to start my first Long Rifle Soap blog post on the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day. My kids laugh because the older I get, the crunchier and more granola-y I become. I even wear clogs.
As a kid, I loved the show Big Blue Marble (I know, this really dates me). In junior high we learned about the Seven Generations philosophy of the Iroquois – the actions and decisions you make now will have an effect for the next seven generations. As an adult, I find myself composting, recycling, and picking up roadside garbage (because there are jerks who think the world is their personal trashcan).
With the company, all packing material from supplies gets reused in your orders, as well as packing material from my social, I-need-to-see-and-talk-to-people gig at a local outdoor outfitters. Our shrink wrap on our bar soaps is biodegradable plastic. Locally-sourced beef suet from small farms transforms into the amazing tallow used in our bar and shaving soaps. And many of our suppliers are based in the Midwest to reduce our carbon footprint.
It has even led to hard decisions – discontinuing scents or changing ingredients because certain plants are endangered or not sustainably sourced.
Through the human and economic tragedy of COVID 19, we are now getting a glimpse at an unexpected, and positive effect of our stay-at-home mandates beyond containing the spread of the virus. And all in a short period of time.
Globally, our air is cleaner. Wildlife is thriving in a manner we haven’t seen in generations. Water is clearing up due to lack of human traffic, bringing aquatic life to areas not seen before. Once stay-at-home orders are lifted, we all know these changes will be reversed. Which poses a challenge for all of us as we resume our day-to-day lives.
So, I have one wish after our self-containment is over – that everyone makes one small change towards sustainability. Because collectively, our small actions will result in a big impact. What can you do? Here are a couple things we do here that are easy to incorporate:
- If you use plastic grocery bags, give them a second life. Reuse them in small trash cans or take them on your runs/walks and pick up the trash you find on your way.
- Use paper grocery bags that can be recycled, or invest in reusable grocery bags.
- Purchase items that use less packaging or have recyclable packaging.
- Buy organic or local food when you can. It tastes better anyway.
- Integrate “Meatless Mondays” (or any day) into your cooking. Less meat consumption is better for you and the environment.
- Strive for biodiversity in your lawn vs. golf course looks. Even leaving grass a smidge longer when you mow results in positive benefits to the environment.
- Integrate native plants into gardens.
- Purchase a mason bee house to hang in your yard.
- Plan your routes more efficiently when running errands. Less driving, less carbon emissions. Better yet, if you can, take public transportation.
There are a million things we can do. Just look around you. Choose one for this 50th Earth Day. Make that change a habit, and the next Earth Day start a new change to add to your actions. Collectively we can take care of this Big Blue Marble we call home.
Step off soapbox.