Today is Earth Day and as an outdoor photographer I can fully appreciate just how important it is that we take care of this planet of ours. It is so important that we sustain and hopefully rebuild this great planet we call home. I'm not a great philanthropist, but I can say that every year I make one more small step toward being more "green".
A few years ago it was simply recycling my cans and cardboard. Now, I recycle anything I can. I like to purchase goods either made from a sustainable product or even something artistic made from reclaimed materials. I try to operate my photography business as paper less as possible. Last year I said good bye to plastic bags. I use reusable tote bags for all my grocery shopping. This year I'm adding something so simple I seriously can't believe that I haven't been doing it before. We're using real fabric napkins. I used to only use them for formal occasions like holidays or when we had family and guests over. I used to just use paper towels to clean up spills or as our napkins. Yikes, right? This year I use fabric napkins every day and I've even started taking them to lunch at work so I am not using paper napkins there. Just taking my own napkins and silverware for lunch everyday goes a long way to not adding to the endless pile of waste that goes out of the cafeteria every day. I also don't use paper towels for cleaning, instead using rags from old towels and shirts. We do still have paper towels around the house. It is hard to give up old habits, but little by little we use them less and less. I even got my parents four little White Oak saplings for Earth Day, which they've already planted.
I hope you all find one thing to do to be a little more "green" this year. I also hope you consider joining or donating to an organization dedicating to helping the environment. Here are a list of some organizations worth taking a look at:
- The Sierra Club
- The Audubon Society
- The Arbor Day Foundation
- The National Wildlife Federation
- The Nature Conservancy
and one that is close to home for us in Peoria with river bottom restoration as well as an organization that helped my hometown in Iowa with flood recovery and river cleanup:
Here are also some of my favorite places to shop that use reclaimed materials:
- Keen Footwear (okay seriously the most awesome outdoor shoes ever and they make the bottoms of their bags from recycled rubber left over the production of their shoes!)
- Uncommon Goods (they regularly feature jewelry, art, and household goods created with reclaimed materials. This is a favorite for my holiday shopping list.)
Okay, so go plant a tree for Earth Day or pick up a new green habit. Most of all, go outside and enjoy this wonderful planet. There is so much to see and do in the outdoors, so just get out there. =)
Here are a few of my latest photos from the outdoors: