Happy Earth Day to everyone!
Earth Day is all about the right to a healthy environment and reminds us that we are all connected. We depend on our planet and have a responsibility to care for our it.
How will you celebrate? Support local conservation efforts, stop using plastic bags and bottles, recycle, get your family and friends to switch to "green" products"...or only drink shade grown coffee?
Get outside. We'll mark the day by supporting one of our favorite land trusts, the Northeast Wisconsin Land Trust. It protects lands that give us clean water, habitat for wildlife, and places for people to have fun. And specifically, we'll be meeting up with neighbors to work on the local Stroebe Island Marsh Preserve. This is the last cattail marsh on the lower Fox River - a place stewarded by native people for thousands of years and a reminder of land's ability to clean water naturally.
Re-use and recycle. We'll also recommit ourselves to recycling 100% of our recyclable waste - we hope that you will join us, too. Talk about a small thing with a big impact - only 29% of people recycle their PET bottles (you know who you are!) As a result, plastics make up a growing share of our garbage. Recycling removes plastic from our waste, and gives trash a new life.
Encourage friends to go "green." What we use to clean ourselves in our showers ends up in our streams, gets swallowed by fish who feed us and other living things. In a world of harsh chemicals and artificial ingredients, ANTIDOTE plant powered products use ingredients that are better for people and the environment. All ANTIDOTE shampoos and conditioners are Environmental Working Group "Green Rated." No matter what brand you choose, natural products are one small way we can all make a difference.
Buy shade grown coffee. Tropical shade trees in the tropics are home to countless migrating birds. The loss of this habitat has a direct impact on the loss of bird population. One key driver of this is clear cutting to support cheaper sun coffee. Give our feathered friends a break by buying shade grown coffee. By the way, coffee prefers shade and shade grown coffee is the richest, most delicious kind you can buy.
Speaking of Wisconsin and the environment... Wisconsin has a long tradition in environmental balance. From the first settlers to A Sand County Almanac to Earth Day.
(Wisconsin Native American Indian Tribes Map, Great Lakes Intertribal Council)
The first settlers got it. The area we now call Wisconsin was first settled by the Ojibwe, Potawatomi, Oneida, Menominee, and Ho-Chunk people. While each had their unique relationship with nature, they shared a sustainability ethic. They thrived off of the land and rivers, yet cared for the land. Award-winning poet Paula Gunn Allen explains, “We are the land ... that is the fundamental idea embedded in Native American life.... It is … a part of our being, dynamic, significant, real. It is our self ... It is not a matter of being ‘close to nature’ ... The Earth is, in a very real sense, the same as our self (or selves) ... It is a matter of fact, one known equably from infancy, remembered and honored at levels of awareness that go beyond consciousness, and that extend long roots into primary levels of mind, language, perception and all the basic aspects of being ...”
In modern times, Wisconsin has continued to play a leading role in protecting the environment.
A book that changed the world.
"Long respected in his own fields of forestry and wildlife ecology, Leopold ..., in 1937, ... became focused on reaching the general public with his conservation message... of how the natural world worked and inspired them to take action to ensure the future health of the land and water that sustains all life," says the Aldo Leopold Foundation. Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac continues to spark generations of environmentalists. Written in the 1940’s about Leopold’s home in Baraboo, Wisconsin, the book shows how a healthy planet is good for all – for our health, recreation, and our economy. Leopold’s friendly writing style and thoughtful arguments made this a best-seller – selling over 2 million copies.
In the 1960’s, US Senator from Wisconsin Gaylord Nelson proposed a constitutional amendment that "Every person has the inalienable right to a decent environment." He spearheaded the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970 with the belief that the more people understood about the environment, the more they would take better care of it and demand better protection. According to Earth Day Network, on that first Earth Day “20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies.” Today, Earth Day involves 5,000 environmental groups across 180+ countries and hundreds of millions of people.Let us know how you plan to celebrate Earth Day this year.
- Abigail + David
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