Today – April 22, 2014 – marks the 44th anniversary of Earth Day. Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970 and was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin in response to an oil spill off the Santa Barbara, California coast. In 2009, the United Nations renamed Earth Day to International Mother Earth Day but Americans seem slow to adopt the name change.
Despite misleading environmental claims of deforestation, excessive energy consumption and toxic pollution, print is renewable, recyclable, sustainable and effective. West Press is committed to reduce, reuse and recycle. Make sure you know all the facts about today’s printing industry and West Press’ part in creating a clearer environment by checking out our “Busting the Myths: Environmentally-Responsible & Sustainable Printing” booklet.
As a day intended to inspire awareness and appreciation of the Earth’s natural environment, we’ve put together a list of ways you can make your life a little greener:
- Give a hoot, don’t pollute. Pick up trash and place it in the proper waste receptacle. Recycle cans, bottle and paper at home, work and school. Recycling one aluminum can saves enough electricity to run a TV for three hours.
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Homes and cars account for half of all Americans produce. Check out the Earth Day EnergyCenter (http://earthday.wattzon.com/) to develop a plan to save energy, live greener and save money.
- Recycle and reuse wherever you can. Store food in reusable plastic containers. If you take your lunch to work or school, use plastic containers and reusable lunch bags so you’re not creating waste. Use silverware and dishes instead of disposable plastic utensils and plates. It takes between 400 and 500 years for a Styrofoam cup to decompose, whereas it only takes an orange peel six months to decompose. Instead of bringing your errand purchases and groceries home in new paper or plastic bags, keep reusable totes in your car so you’re never caught without them. Many stores also have recycle areas for such things as plastic bags, too.
- Your castoffs may be someone else’s treasure. Don’t throw out clothes, toys, furniture that you no longer want or need. Donate them, give them to friends or have a yard sale.
- Use alternative transportation. Ride your bike, walk, take the bus or carpool whenever possible.
- Save water and energy when you can. Turn off the faucet when brushing your teeth. One drip per second from a faucet wastes 540 gallons of water a year. Turn off the lights and TV when leaving the room.
- Start a compost bin. Set aside a place in your yard where you can dispose of certain food and plant materials. Over time, the materials will break down through a natural process called decomposition. The compost is good for the soil in your yard and means that less garbage will go to the landfill.
- Reduce the amount of waste you produce. Opt for items that are thoughtful about their packaging. If you’re in need of an item you don’t use very often, see if you can borrow or trade for it instead.
If you’re looking for even more helpful tips to help do your part, click on the EPA’s ActOnClimate tips at http://www.epa.gov/earthday/actonclimate/index.html.
The team at West Press is here to help make your green vision a reality. Contact West Press or your Account Executive at 520-624-4939 today.