Sunday, April 22, was Earth Day. In Appleton, Wisconsin, it felt like a true first day of spring with temperatures nearing 60°F. April 22 and we still had half a foot of snow on the ground and mounds of snow with ripples of water flowing from beneath them. Nearly two feet of snow dumped over most of Wisconsin a week earlier over the course of a weekend. The songbirds had arrived weeks earlier only to have their food sources buried in a blizzard. In mid-April. It feels like the winters and springs are starting later and ending later as a result. The winter snows also have been light and offer very little fluffy depth to be able to have some snowy, winter fun. Yes, climate change is real, and it's beginning to become noticeable here in Wisconsin. That's why this year I'm determined to truly do something about my carbon footprint, and I challenge you to do so as well.
EarthDay.org named this year's theme as "End Plastic Pollution." If you're not already aware of just how bad the plastic pollution is, here are just a few facts to put it into perspective.
I have been researching plastic pollution in preparation for Earth Day, and I have started to feel "environmental grief." But as hopeless as one might feel looking through pages and pages of Google's image search results for plastic in our oceans and plastic pollution, there are things that each one of us can do.
At the very minimum, it is everyone's responsibility to take the time to know what you can and can't recycle. Even that little step can help reduce the amount of plastic that is now being sent to landfills instead of recycling facilities. For those of you who want to do even more, here are a few things that take minimal effort and potentially a small investment.
I personally am doing all of the above and looking for more ideas. It seems like every single thing I consume uses some sort of plastic. Milk, candy, cereal, meat, condiments, shampoo, toothpaste, contact solution. The list goes on, but I'll have to take solace in knowing that I am trying, and that if I can find workarounds for even a fraction of the items I use, that will be a major improvement. I could choose a glass bottle of dressing over one that comes in plastic, or make my own!
Here at Apis Books, we don't use that much plastic (except for what I, Gayle, use on a personal level), and it is in our mission statement to "remain conscientious about the environment in every business decision." For at our company, every day is indeed Earth Day. We accept only electronic queries from authors, and we do not print anything during the review process. If physical marketing materials are needed, we use certified "green" printers. Our main publishing format is ebooks, but for the titles we are able to do print runs with, we will carefully plan that process to be as environmentally friendly as can be.
Take a stand with us at Apis Books and help end plastic pollution!
What pledge can you make this year? What are you already doing? Comment below and let us know how you are reducing your plastic consumption and carbon footprint, and ultimately making every day Earth Day.