How to Make Every Day Earth Day

By:
EARTH DAY GUIDE BY HELEN & GERTRUDE'S SUSTAINABILITY COMMITTEE

The Helen & Gertrude Sustainability Committee is back with another guide, and this time we’re celebrating our favorite holiday! The Earth Day 2022 theme is Invest In Our Planet, and we think it’s the perfect time to regroup on our team’s mission to encourage, educate, and support our community in efforts to be a little more “green”. We’re sharing some of our favorite tips, ideas, and events for how to honor and celebrate our planet—today and every day of the year.

How to Celebrate

  • Reach out to your representatives to advocate for environmental causes you care about
  • Plant a tree, either physically or through a donation to an organization like the Arbor Day Foundation
  • Turn your daily jog into a “plog” by bringing along gloves and a bag, and picking up trash along the way!

Hacks and Tips

Whether you’ve been working from home, the office, or a bit of both, here are some of our favorite easy ideas for making your weekly routines a little more green.

Work From Home

  • Consider your email habits, and try embracing “eco-messaging”. According to the BBC, every email sent creates some carbon dioxide emissions, and those with attachments and photos create even more. Examples of “eco-messaging” could include using links instead of attachments, not sending emails to unnecessary extra recipients, and unsubscribing from mailing lists no longer needed.
  • Take advantage of your home kitchen to make your own meals instead of getting takeout. Bonus points if you cook a vegetarian or vegan meal once a week!
  • Invest in funds that align with your values around sustainability. If your company offers a 401k, tools like FossilFreeFunds.com allow you to look into the funds available to you and tell you if a fund holds stock in a fossil fuel company.

In-Office

  • Host an office sustainability challenge. Whether quarterly or annual, an office-wide competition is a great way to drum up excitement around eco-efforts. H&G is planning to host our third annual challenge this summer. May the best team win!
  • Cut down on car time by carpooling with a coworker once a week, or taking a bike or public transportation to work when the weather permits.
  • Talk to your office administrator about setting up in-office composting. Services like Impact Earth (who we worked with at H&G before moving to remote work!) will pick up your compost, dispose of it properly, and even measure how much you’ve composted over time.

Earth-Friendly Events & Orgs in Rochester

  • Great Lakes Clean-Up at Durand Eastman Park. Take part in a multi-city week of clean-ups along the Great Lakes! The Seneca Park Zoo Society is asking for volunteers to take part in clean-ups on April 23rd and May 6th. H&G will be at the Durand Eastman Park cleanup on 4/23 from 9am - 12pm, so come say hi!
  • Walking for Rochester is a local non-profit that is committed to cleaning our community and hosting trash clean-ups. H&G participated in a group clean-up last fall sponsored by a local restaurant and had a great time competing to see who could pick up the most litter—the winning team got a gift card for Happy Hour!
  • 540 West Main is a nonprofit antiracist education platform that hosts programming rooted in social justice, with a dedication to neighborhood revitalization. This organization often offers classes on the intersection of social justice and climate change.

Additional Resources

What We’re Reading

  • We Are the Weather, a look at how acting upon climate change begins with decisions as simple as what we eat for breakfast
  • More Than a Plastic Bag for sustainable living tips in a practice, accessible way for environmentalists at every level

What We’re Listening To

  • Casually Green, a Rochester-based podcast about approachable tips to beginning your sustainability journey

Who We’re Following

  • @Pattiegonia, an environmental advocate and co-founder of an outdoor educational nonprofit called The Outdoorist Oath

What We’re Watching

  • The True Cost, a documentary pulling back the curtain on the impact of fast-fashion on the environment
  • The Biggest Little Farm”, a film that follows the successes and failures of a couple building a sustainable farm outside of Los Angeles

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