Earth Day: Sharing Ideas for Daily Sustainability
Each year on Earth Day, April 22nd, the world unites to celebrate the environment and recommit ourselves to upping our efforts to protect and restore it. Of course, to make this happen we need to make environmental responsibility a daily habit. To get inspiration, we asked some Standing Stone Brewing Co employees, partners and fellow green businesses to share what they do at work, home and on-the-go to lighten their load on the planet. We’d love to hear your ideas, too, so post a comment to let us know how you honor Earth Day a little bit each day.
Rachel Koning, Events Manager & Social Media
- Bring silverware and plates from home for food on-the-go. I use them for lunch to get my favorite tamales at the Ashland Growers and Crafters Market.
- Reuse bags for bulk foods at the grocery store. I use the same animal cracker bag each time for my son’s favorite snack from the Ashland Co-Op.
- Walk! Ashland is a beautiful walking town with lots to do and see, all within a few miles.
Larry Chase, Brewmaster
- When running water and waiting for it to turn hot, we collect shower water in a pitcher to fill our dog bowls and 5 gal buckets to flush the toilet, and put kitchen water into pitchers for drinking. About 1 gal flows at most faucets in our house before hot water arrives. So, we save at least 800 gal of potable water per year. Because municipal water is ridiculously inexpensive, our conservation saves only $1.81 per year. Nonetheless, 800 gallons is a sizable amount of water not wasted, and that’s the important thing.
Ginger Johnson, Women Enjoying Beer (and Jackson County Master Recycler)
- When we give a beer tasting session, we bring small glasses that we buy from thrift stores and put our logo sticker on, eliminating one-use plastic cups. Glass is also best for beer that has been carefully and lovingly made, and guests get a keepsake to use again. Sending the sustainability message reverberates successfully and makes everyone happy.
- I’ve made small washable cloth napkins for our events, using fabric from thrift stores. Cutting and sewing the edges myself reuses already available goods. It’s also economical and is met with positive response.
- If you sell retail goods, research and procure them wisely. I try to buy only sustainable choices – organic fabrics, low impact ink, minimal waste and sustainably-minded companies. While these may have a higher price, it invites a great conversation with consumers. You may not always make a sale, yet you can always make a difference.
Annie Hoy, Outreach Manager, Ashland Food Co-op (AFC)
- Find out what you can recycle locally and look beyond curbside programs to maximize landfill diversion. AFC reduced landfill waste by more than 20% in 2011 by finding a local company to accept more of the plastic we generate.
- Conserve and green your energy, then offset what you need to use. AFC is offsetting 100% of our electricity usage through RECs from Bonneville Environmental Foundation. Some may say that’s just buying our way out, but it’s better than nothing. (Note: AFC also has photovoltaic solar panels.)
- Encourage and learn from others. One AFC’s sustainability goals is to “take sustainability out to the community.” To enact that goal, I’m chairing a Chamber of Commerce Green Committee make Greeters events, the 4th of July and Food and Wine event more sustainable, and recognize “Green” greeters.
Risa Buck, Waste Zero Specialist, Recology Ashland Sanitary Service
- It’s only trash if that’s how you treat it!
And, with that succinct no-words-wasted mantra, we have the perfect ending. Thanks for the ideas and motivation! What do you do? How will you up the ante on sustainability in life and work this year? Let us know!