Earth Day is coming up, and through the next two weeks more than a billion people in 192 countries will observe this special day. We observe it by planting a tree, teaching younger generations about recycling and conservation. We are encouraged to go for a walk, observe nature. And then what? Although some commit their lives to environmental causes, almost all of those 1 billion people celebrating Earth Day, go back to their usual routines and habits the very next day. It makes Earth Day more like a come-and-go Hallmark holiday, instead of the catalyst for us to stand up and realize some things about ourselves as a society and actually make changes that stick.
I have a young family, and many people connected to PUR2o; our sales reps, technicians and installers, or our clients also have young families. As such I was browsing search engines and Pinterest to see what fun activities I could do this weekend to raise awareness about Earth Day with my family and friends and maybe share with you. We have a mix of children around us celebrating Easter or Passover this weekend, and instead of bunny’s and plastic eggs, I wanted to plan some meaningful activities for all of us to do.
So during my browsing around what did I find? Earth Day cookies? Make a tower from plastic bottles? Making an “I love Earth Day” hat? All I could think was …. Honestly?? When did we manage to turn a day where we should be making clear changes to honor our planet and do something to preserve it for future generations into a day to by green and blue icing and decorate sugary treats?
In my opinion, there are many, many things we can do for our planet, and yes, planting a tree or a garden could be one of them, but there is no point going to your local nature center where your kids participate in planting a tree, when you then you head for a snack where you purchase a plastic wrapped muffin and a bottle of water, disposing of them in a trash can along with the other hundred or so people who will also join the festivities that day with you. Okay, yes, I sound like a grumpy ruin-your-fun kind of mum right now, but underneath that, I do believe I have a point to make.
I think as Americans we should focus on one thing this Earth Day…our total consumption of consumer items and the way we get rid of them. Let’s teach our kids to be frugal, careful and thoughtful, because on the front end, it will save money in our own pockets, and on the back end, it will lower how much you dispose of as a family.
Here are some simple ideas of Earth Day activities that may actually stick around all year!
1. Buy reusable water bottles.
Do not buy single use, bottled water this week. Encourage your family to learn about the environmental pollution being caused solely by single use plastic water bottles, which are being used at a rate of 1-million bottles per minute globally! This video is a great way to start!
Please note: be careful with younger children as there are some scenes that are a little bit unsettling in this mini documentary, however if you allow your kids watch movies featuring aliens, guns and violence, then I feel we should not shy away on seeing wildlife affected by our own pollution and thoughtlessness. Then head to your local superstore and pick out a stainless steel or glass water bottle for each person to refill from home! Yes, it will cost you money but you were going to spend it on those green and blue cookies, so why not switch it up?!
2. Check your local garbage rules.
Look up your local waste management guidelines for recycling and disposal of items and make a plan as a family for what items you can recycle. We have two small inside containers for recyclable items and two recycling tubs in our garage. We simply dump the small bins into the larger ones every couple of days. As a family of four, we fill two recycling tubs each week and have cut down our regular trash bags by more than half.
3. Decorate tubs and ditch ziplock bags!
Choose a reusable medium sized storage container from the cupboard for each person, and use old nail polishes to decorate the lid with personalized designs, they can be environmentally themed or not, but make a pledge to use them instead of plastic disposable sandwich bags and snack bags! The average American family uses 500 Ziploc bags each year!! You’ll be surprised how much money you save, aside from the amount of single use plastic trash you cut down.
While this might seem extreme, there is no reason not to repurpose plastic bags which inevitably make their way into our homes. Clean, dry bags such as those wrapped around bread, paper towels and even frozen foods can easily be reused instead of buying plastic bags for the same, exact purpose. And don’t forget those waxed paper bags in cereal boxes! I have a basket on the corner of the kitchen counter where I stuff reusable plastic and wax bags and yes, I use the word “stuff” as it is just mind-boggling how full that basket gets!
4. Collect reusable shopping bags.
Maybe you have some around the house, or maybe you plan to start a collection, but this will be the hardest to implement into our society. I shop frequently at Walmart, and I get eye rolls from the cashiers when I show up with my reusable bags in which I pack a week worth of groceries. I will admit, sometimes it makes me pause and consider not taking those bags with me, but we must not give in to that. So, I proudly march in to get my groceries with my own shopping bags in hand. I save 20 bags from ending up in a land fill…. and then I look around and the hundreds of bags being filled up at the checkouts next to me and wonder if what I do will make a difference? We dispose of around 100 billion plastic bags each year; that is about 1 per person, per day. But if you all pledge to join in too, then we will make a difference! Did you know in the UK in 2015, they brought in a law where stores must charge 5-pence per plastic bag, and cannot sell one unless it’s requested.
The result? The usage of plastic shopping bags has been reduced more then 86%. If you go visit England and plan to do some shopping…you need to have a “Bag for Life” with you; a reusable fabric shopping bag, otherwise you will be paying for your bags, plus you’ll get an eye roll from the cashier for asking for a bag……!
I was inspired by the ladies from Lebanon who make the “Jellyfish bags” in an episode of “The Profit” on CNBC recently; they take single use plastic bags and crochet them into reusable bags that are super stylish, although it may take a while to do it yourself! But if you want a cute (and speedier) family project you could have fun with the kids and make some reusable shopping totes! I love this tutorial posted by “What’s Up Moms!” that uses old T-shirts to make fun bags!
In our house, I can proudly say we do all of the above almost consistently as a family. This Earth Day we will reinforce the pledges we’ve already made, remind ourselves why we do them and share them with our friends. What we do as a family may look like a drop of water in a bucket, but if there are enough people and enough drops going into that bucket, eventually, it will fill.
Last year we added a PUR2o Alkaline drinking water filtration system to our home. Since then we have significantly increased the amount of water we drink as a family, cut down the amount of plastic waste we have, and have completely eliminated buying water bottles from the store! This year we are adding a new pledge; on this Earth Day, we are going to be adding a composter to our garden! We have a nice plot of land, and as generally healthy eaters, we dispose a lot of fruit and veggie waste, as well as things such as paper towels and napkins. So instead of ordering a pile of soil from a garden center and getting it delivered in my driveway, we are going to slowly make our own, and reduce some more of what we might throw away.
We are striving to provide as many people as possible with filtered, purified, naturally alkaline and ionized water for drinking and cooking straight from the tap, for three reasons. We care about the health of YOU, the health of our PLANET and the health of your POCKET!
THE HEALTH OF YOU
Our goal is to provide as many people as possible with pure, crystal clear, safe & healthy water.
PUR2o Alkaline water is shown to benefit: Overall health and energy, weight management, muscle stimulation, brain power, digestive system, mood, body temperature, youthfulness, complexion, lifespan, and boosting your immune system.
THE HEALTH OF OUR PLANET
We are also committed to creating a greater awareness of how plastic and plastic bottles are polluting our planet and our bodies by providing the best water out of your tap, eliminating the amount of plastic we dispose of and how much water we consume out of plastic bottles.
THE HEALTH OF YOUR POCKET
Aside from all the health benefits of Alkaline Water, you save a tremendous amount of money with our systems! Did you know?…. If you drink eight glasses of water each day, it will cost approximately $55 per year; vs $1,700 if you were to drink the same amount of bottled water instead. The PUR2o system pays for its self in only one year by one persons water consumption.