A Sustainable (Earth) Day

Happy Earth Day, everyone!

I feel hopeful today. I left the house this morning and passed by several volunteers picking up litter near my house. I then passed a youth-led climate strike happening at an intersection in town. And my internet feed is filled with Earth Day activities and enthusiasm. It’s so exciting to see!

Photo by Markus Spiske: https://www.pexels.com/photo/climate-road-landscape-people-2990650/

I felt inspired to share with you some of the environmental wins that I experienced today, as well as a few compromises made throughout the day.

I woke up and got dressed. I picked a pair of sweatpants made from recycled water bottles to exercise in and a pair of secondhand jeans to change into afterward. Then I started a load of extra soiled laundry. This contained cloth napkins, kitchen towels, cotton handkerchiefs, washcloths, etc. I do a load like this about every 5-7 days, hanging up wet washcloths, etc between washings to reduce the chance of mildew forming from wet items sitting for so long. Afterward I popped these items in the dryer. I love hang drying clothes, but I find towels and washcloths feel scratchy when they haven’t been dried in the tumble drier.

I then checked on the sourdough bread dough I mixed up the night before. I tried a new recipe since I broke my mixer and had to knead by hand. I kneaded it again and left it to rise for the second and last time. The dough was made using rescued flour… flour that a friend was going to throw out or compost when they discovered they had a wheat allergy. I told them I would happily take the flour and put it to good use. After the bread rose for another hour I put it into my heirloom dutch oven, a gift from my grandmother, and baked it in the oven. The bread was then set aside for dinner tonight. Bread is most delicious when fresh out of the oven, but I knew I wouldn’t have time to bake a loaf tonight.

Photo by Geraud pfeiffer: https://www.pexels.com/photo/delicious-sourdough-bread-on-table-6605343/

By this time my kids had woken up. I served them a breakfast of fruit and organic rolled oats, purchased in a 25 pound quantity to keep the waste and cost down. I opted for a fruit smoothie to make my breakfast easy and portable.

While the kids were eating breakfast, I finished some paperwork and packaged up my Kitchenaid stand mixer to be sent in to get repaired. Having it repaired will save me money and waste compared to buying a new mixer. But I’ve already decided that if Kitchenaid deems my machine beyond repair I will buy a refurbished machine from the company. I loaded the large box into my car and planned my route to be most efficient for all of the errands I had planned. I then checked my email and sent a letter to my state representatives telling them that I hope they support more climate positive actions.

Next the kids and I packed up snacks and lunch for our busy day. We opted for homemade muffins, fresh fruit, and nuts and snacks bought in bulk at Costco and then portioned out into smaller servings in our reusable snack bags. The kids then got dressed in their hand-me-down clothing and brushed their teeth with bamboo toothbrushes.

Photo by Castorly Stock : https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-toothbrush-3654597/

By this point I realized I had started my period. No need to rush to the store though, I simply put on my washable period underwear and a washable cotton pad. It’s nice to always be prepared.

We left the house and dropped off some jars to be reused at our local bulk store. We then dropped off compost with a community member met through the ShareWaste app.

Next we headed to a Children’s Museum to partake in Earth Day themed crafts and learning activities. I had just as much fun as the kids did baking cookies in a solar oven, powering appliances with bike power, and learning all about bees and other pollinators.

Photo by George Becker: https://www.pexels.com/photo/brown-and-black-honey-bee-on-white-flower-near-green-plants-during-daytime-128573/

We headed down the street to a park and picked up trash along the way, an activity we try to do every single day. Each year I pick up 100+ pounds of roadside litter. This is done not in huge pickup events, but by picking up a few pieces of litter every place I go. A few aluminum cans here, some bottle tops there, and loads of cigarette butts everywhere add up to quite a lot picked up over time. I use trash grabbers to protect myself, and use repurposed bread bags to collect the litter. It’s my best attempt at making waste work for the planet rather than against it.

After a busy day my kids and I headed home to eat some yummy leftover vegan pasta. We paired this with the bread made this morning for a satisfying meal.

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi

Most days aren’t filled with quite this many sustainable activities, but every day is filled with several sustainable activities. I’ve spent years incorporating new practices to lower my environmental impact, and the more I do them the easier it is to continue these practices.

Photo by Pixabay: https://www.pexels.com/photo/alternative-alternative-energy-clouds-eco-energy-433308/

I believe that corporations and governments hold huge responsibility for the situation our Earth is in, but I also know that we as individuals have immense power to put pressure on both corporations and governments. By shopping secondhand, signing petitions, using our voice, eating more plants and fewer animals, etc. we speak volumes about the world we want to see rather than the one we currently see. Together, we can change the world.

One thought on “A Sustainable (Earth) Day”

  1. Greetings! I’ve been reading your site for some time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Lubbock Tx! Just wanted to say keep up the good job!

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