What are you doing to help our Mother Earth? That’s the question that we’ve been asking ourselves lately and been getting a lot of good ideas from one another. Here’s a compilation of what we are doing to make an impact.
Saving the planet is my day job. I spend a good portion of each work day looking for ways to operate our business in a more sustainable and socially responsible way. Today, I organized a latex paint recycling event for 1800 employees. Tomorrow, I’ll be booking speakers to educate my people on how to protect our local watershed. Later this week, I’m meeting with folks to see how we can reduce the amount of carbon emissions our businesses generates. You might say that I’ve leveled up when it comes to being green, and my job has taught me a few things along the way.
If you want to make a big impact and you’re concerned about changes to environmental policy, I strongly urge you to attend your local city council and county planning meetings. Most environmental policy is created at the local level; the EPA only dictates minimum requirements for regulations. Go and tell them you don’t want fracking in your community, or that you expect existing protections to remain in place. Get vocal locally!
Vote for your values with your dollars. If you make it clear that you only support sustainable companies, it teaches other not-so-sustainable companies that they’d better get on board if they want to stay competitive in the marketplace. Easy things like buying locally sourced food, getting your next pair of shoes from Toms, or your new pair of eyeglasses from Warby Parker. You have lots of power here, use it!
And lastly, one of my favorite easy things to do is pick up litter I see when I’m running. It’s easy to help keep the road and trails clean and maintained.
Recently while running a particularly race I couldn’t help but notice how many cups I slogged through at each water stop. There were some runners that had handheld personal water bottles or hydration packs but overall, many took cups and cups of water (me included). Fast forward a few weeks and while signing up for another race, the Shenandoah Half Marathon, I noticed that they have a cup free policy.
I’m looking to make changes within my home where I can. My kids bring their lunches to school most days and the amount of plastic sandwich bags we were using for snacks (one for the classroom, another for lunch) was ridiculous. It felt wasteful and unnecessary. Instead I picked up a set of Tupperware and I’m sending their snacks in those instead. It was just a small little change but we are reducing the amount of plastic we’re using, which feels great.
On the same train of thought I’ve been focusing on remembering to bring my reusable bags into the grocery store. I know in some states they don’t even have a plastic bag option or there is a charge if you need one. That’s not the case in New Jersey but just because the convenience is there doesn’t mean that I need to take advantage of it. If I buy something at a drug store, rather than getting a bag, I opt to just throw it in my purse. It might be small but imagine if we all do things like that – it can really add up!
We’d love to hear what little (or big!) things you are doing to help our environment! Have any ideas to share with us and Scoot a Doot readers? Please comment below.
So you know what’s interesting? Having run the Vacation Races Rocky Mountain Half the last two years, I knew about their cup-free policy but it never struck me as that unusual. Living in my Boulder green bubble (they charge .10 for every plastic grocery bag here), I took the policy as pretty normal. Your comments, Meri, about how it stood out to you reminded me that I live in a very earth-friendly place, and what one person considers green routine might be a totally foreign concept to someone in another region. And this is where the opportunity lies, by sharing these best practices, we can all be better stewards.
Having run a cup-free race, I will say that it’s lovely. There’s no litter, no time spent by volunteers cleaning up trash, no chance that cups will be blown away by the wind, no risk of slipping on a tossed-aside cup and falling at the aid station, and it’s no trouble to quickly pour yourself some refreshment from the coolers VR always have set up. I wish all races took this route!