That the average American generates 4 pounds of trash every day, which adds up to a whopping 1,460 pounds in a year?
It takes a plastic water bottle 450 years to break down in a landfill.
And in every single square mile of ocean, there are more than 40,000 pieces of floating plastic debris.
Earth Day Practices Can Help Change This
Earth Day was established on April 22, 1970, to educate people about recycling, reducing, reusing, and other ways to protect our planet and keep it clean. The Environmental Protection Agency was established later that year. Things have improved over the years, with more than 35 percent of people participating in recycling today, compared to only 10 percent in 1980. But there’s still more to do, and although Earth Day is an important celebration for getting the word out, it’s just one day in the year, and we need to continue educating our children about everyday habits that really make a difference.
Celebrating Earth Day with your family and establishing traditions for years to come doesn’t have to be difficult, expensive, or time-consuming. Here are six of our favorite ways to celebrate:
Purchase Items in Glass Containers
Glass is incredibly durable and holds up to years of reuse. Glass is made from a sustainable resource, and is 100% recyclable. Recycled glass uses 40% less energy than manufacturing new glass, and up to 80% of all recycled glass can be reclaimed. So the cost to your family, and our planet, is far less in the long run. And of course, it’s better for the earth!
Glass jars also contain no chemicals that can leach into food, and glass can be safely washed at high temperatures. Glass is nonporous and impermeable, so there are no interactions between glass packaging and products to affect the flavor of food and beverages. No nasty aftertaste – ever.
Keep the glass jars that your favorite products, like our flavored maple glazes, come in and reuse them. There are so many things you can then use them for around the house. Here are some examples:
Use as a votive candle holder.
Fill with jams, spreads, and other condiments for parties and get-togethers.
Use them to sort and store arts and craft supplies.
Take a jar with you on spring break and fill it with sand from the beach you visit to keep as a souvenir.
Fill a couple of jars with your most frequently used spices to keep by the stove.
Use them for craft projects like mini snow globes or planters for Mother’s Day.
Turn Things Off
Did anyone else’s mom ever yell at you about turning off appliances or lights when you were a kid? Chances are she was trying to save money on the power bill, but money isn’t the only thing you’ll be saving. Today, try turning off appliances that are plugged into the wall when you’re not using them, or switching off lights when you leave the room. It sounds so simple, but it’s still worth mentioning as it still takes conscious effort!
Why not take it a step further and keep the TV switched off all day? By making it a ‘no TV’ day, you’ll have some extra time to connect with nature in some way. Enjoy a walk, get some fresh air, and appreciate your natural environment. Perhaps take the family for a picnic in the park, or collect shells at the beach, and encourage everyone to think about the earth and how magnificent it is.
Support Environmentally Friendly Companies
Here at the Sugarman of Vermont, we are committed to sustainability and eco-friendly practices across our entire business. By using geothermal energy, we are able to cool our maple syrup straight from the Earth’s energy through our patented underground, closed-loop system. This system can directly cool our maple syrup product in a sustainable, environmentally friendly manner.
Plant a Garden or Add Some Green to Your Space
If you have access to a backyard (or even a window box), now is the perfect time to plant a garden. A small herb garden is easy to grow and maintain, and it provides fresh flavors for your future dishes. Plant flowers, vegetables, a tree — the possibilities are endless. Local gardening centers are open in states throughout the country, with some even offering no-contact pickup. You can even have plants delivered straight to your doorstep if there isn’t a garden center near you.
In addition to being a fruitful hobby, gardening has physical and mental health benefits for kids and adults. Gardening outside promotes movement (walking, squatting, and lifting), and you’ll get plenty of vitamin D—just remember to wear sunscreen!
Bonus idea: Plant a maple tree! We love that idea!
Set Up a Recycling Center at Home
Almost all packaging for food can be recycled. Make a spot inside your house for the recycled materials so you can easily put bulky bottles and broken-down boxes in there versus the trash. If you use this system you will be more likely to recycle the goods and products you use.
Ideally, your home recycling center will be a two-part system, with one part for everyday disposal and the other for storing. The everyday part should be where you generate the most waste―for many, the kitchen. The spot should be as accessible as the trash can, perhaps right next to it. If you are short on space, consider hanging sturdy shopping bags on the inside of a pantry door. Sorting is a tiresome truth of recycling, so why do it twice? Get a divided container, or several small containers, that let you separate as you dispose. A comprehensive recycling system doesn’t require fancy bins and storage bags, either—making use of what containers are already available is a great way to include reusing in your recycling regimen.
Celebrate Earth Day Every Day
Earth Day is celebrated on April 22nd, but your family can celebrate the Earth every day by changing these simple behaviors:
Turn off lights when you leave the house
Reuse or repurpose items
Pick up trash on your daily walk
Wash only full loads of laundry or dishes
Walk or carpool to your destination
Switch to cloth – use cloth napkins, diapers, etc.