Happy Earth Day loves! Are you taking part in this world wide initiative today? In case this is the first you are hearing of it, Earth Day happens every year on April 22nd for the last 51 years, and is dedicated to demonstrating support for environmental protection! Over a billion people from all across the globe come together to celebrate Earth Day, serving as a conscious reminder of how fragile our planet is and how important it is to protect it.
The first Earth Day I remember celebrating was in elementary school. The school organized an initiative where the students picked up loose trash from around the neighbourhood. We also recycled all our juice boxes for the entire year and had a bench made from those recycled materials. I was completely fascinated that what was once a juice container had become something else entirely. Recycling was so cool!
I’m pretty sure thats when i got into recycling lol. Well that and also living near a landfill. I remember asking my parents, why we piled our trash as tall as mountains and what happened to it once it was there? They told me some of it would decompose, some might get recycled and then what was left would be covered with earth and homes would be built on top one day. I thought it was strange that people would live on our garbage and immediately pictured that scene from The Labyrinth where Jennifer Connelly's character falls into the trash, meets the junk lady and needs too climb out of all that junk to save her baby brother.
I wondered if we lived on other peoples junk too?!? WAS THE JUNK EVERYWHERE?!?!
Well, it turns out, it really was and the 10 year old me didn’t like that one bit! I went on a mission to save glass jars and yogurt containers so they could be reused. I collected old toys and things we didn’t use anymore to be donated. I wanted to prevent all of it from becoming junk! I guess you could say I became an advocate for the 3 R’s as a kid…. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!
Three decades later a global pandemic hits, and my heart sinks as the social consciousness of the 3 Rs seems to go out the window.
Things like takeout packaging, disposable masks, gloves, excessive hand washing & drying, and what seems like even more plastic packaging then ever, are negatively impacting our planet at an alarming rate. If there was ever a year for Earth Day, this is it! We ALL need to act together towards helping our beautiful planet, otherwise it will end up looking like the “junk lady's” home!
What can be done? How can we take action? There are many many things we can do, all are good! But if you aren't sure where to start, I suggest starting with what we bring into our homes! These items have a direct impact on the environment. And while the ideal would be to choose to live 100% sustainably, the truth is even just a few small changes can have a HUGE impact!
One of the easiest changes I’ve made is ditching single use plastic packaging whenever I can. It might not seem like much but count how many pieces of plastic packaging end up directly in the recycling bin every week... 10? 20? 50 or more? What does it matter if its getting recycled? Well even if that packaging claims to be recyclable, most do not because of technicalities reated to the recycling process. Therefore, this should be the last resort in its lifecycle, not the ultimate goal.
After all, the 3 Rs are most effective when done in order 1. REDUCE! 2. REUSE! 3.RECYCLE!
With that in mind I have to share with you a company I really love, from the products to the mission! You’ve probably seen a few posts pass by on social or seen the products make an appearance during classes, and that's because I’m a super fan :) The Unscented Co’s products are uniquely unscented, which I will do a post on the reasons why that’s a must in my kitchen. I want to draw your attention to their mission of manufacturing products that are safe for the environment and that are packaged responsibly.
Hmmm.. what does that mean? Products that are biodegradable, free of dyes or scents that are safe for our waterways and packaged in refillable bottles. In 2020 TUC was responsible for saving 854521 plastic bottles from ending up in landfills thanks to their refill system!
They have reduced plastic packaging, adopting more sustainable packaging choices instead. The bottles are reused every time you refill them instead of tossing them in the trash. Plus they have also developed many solid or tab products that completely bypasses the need for plastic altogether. Genius!
Coming from a career in consumer packaging, I can tell you that this is quite remarkable. The majority of all packaging is designed to contain a product and then simply be discarded. It is so encouraging to see companies reject that industry standard by implementing better practices with regards to package design and sustainability! We as the consumer have the power to change those standards too, simply by choosing to spend our dollars on products and companies that are taking innitiatives towards sustainability! Hence, what we bring into our homes :)
Here are a few of my favourite Canadian brands that are striving to make a difference! Check out their websites as many of them are having a Earth Day promo which will allow you to save $$ as well as the planet :)
The important thing is to start somewhere. Adopting an attitude of progress over perfection will help making those changes, little by little! There are so many ways we can create a positive impact on the environment, on Earth Day and every day. Make sure to follow me on instagram for a ton of great tips! But I’m sure many of you have amazing experiences and tips to share too, so please leave them in the comments... you never know who they might inspire!
Its when we come together as a community that we get see the impact we have towards a happier planet!