OSEA Safety News

Three Ways to Celebrate Earth Day Every Day!

Monday, April 8th, 2019

Earth Day was started in 1970 as a day to focus on the environment at a national level. Founder Gaylord Nelson had witnessed a massive oil spill the previous year and he wanted to raise awareness and passion around air and water pollution.

And he got the job done! On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans came out in massive coast-to-coast rallies in streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment.

“The Earth is what we all have in common.”- Wendell Barry

Since then, we’ve seen the creation of the environmental field as we now know it, along with the idea that it takes more than a day to focus on the environment – it takes daily application and effort.

The three key areas of focus these days for the Earth Day organization are climate change, end to plastic pollution, and protecting endangered species. So how can we help? Here are 5 everyday ways to contribute on the plastics front:

  1. Bring your own reusable bag to the grocery store and skip the plastic bags. If you do choose to use plastic bags, be sure to recycle them.
  2. Ditch the straws to train yourself and your family to use less plastic, especially single use plastic. It’s a fun easy way to just not generate plastic waste to begin with, right?
  3. Take it up a notch and don’t purchase food in to-go containers. See how many days you can go in a row and enjoy cooking from scratch with your family and packing lunches in reusable containers.
  4. Start using reusable water bottles and avoid BPA plastic water bottles that can cause harm to humans, especially pregnant mothers!

Why all this emphasis on plastics? According to a 2017 published report in Science Advances, the majority of plastic turns to trash after a single use! Even if you place those containers into your recycling bin, more than 79% of all plastic ends up in landfills or elsewhere in the world. About 12% is incinerated leaving only 9% that is actually recycled.

What else can be done? Here are my three favorites:

  1. Pick up litter when you see it, better yet; take an afternoon with your team to tackle a designated area in your neighborhood.
  2. Volunteer each spring to clean up your local park.
  3. Watch the sun rise and sunset daily to appreciate the power of nature and our place within it.

“Get outside. Watch the sunrise. Watch the sunset. How does that make you feel? Does it make you feel big or tiny? Because there’s something good about feeling both.” – Amy Grant

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