It’s Earth Day, everyone! April 22, 2022 marks the 52nd birth of the modern environmental movement known as Earth Day, a nationwide celebration created to inspire the people in America to draw their focus to the importance of creating a healthy place to live. It is a call for all of us to invest in our planet and its well-being, because as aptly stated by Chief Seattle (read more about him HERE) “the earth does not belong to man…man belongs to the earth”.
In a nutshell, for me, Earth Day is all about respect. Respecting this planet that we live on and recognizing that it too is a living, breathing, organism that gives so much of its resources to support our life. It only makes sense to me that I should do my part in making eco-conscious choices in my day-to-day living.
Eco-conscious, the word and the practice has been gaining in popularity for the past fifty years. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, this word first came into use in 1972. For the past fifty years, Americans have been defining and demonstrating what this word means to them. According to The Scavengers’ Manifesto, written by Anneli S. Rufus and Kristan Lawson, it means freeing yourself from the endless cycle of buying more stuff, and discovering how salvaging, swapping, repurposing, reusing, and recycling can save the earth, your money, and your soul.
In my world of thrifting and reselling on POSHMARK, I source discarded and gently-worn goods that can be passed on to others for less than full price, AND stay out of our landfills. According to reports, Americans toss out 86 pounds of textiles each year, and of that, 85% is sent to landfills. Clothing companies send large amounts to the trash, as well, including brand new items that are unused/unsold. What a waste.
Call me a scavenger or garbage picker if you will, but one man’s trash is truly another man’s treasure, and I define myself as the treasure hunter on a mission to find new homes for quality items that have no business clogging up the earth and putting pressure on our increasingly-fragile planet. If I can extend the life of someone else’s previously loved item by giving it a new home, it helps me feel that I am doing my part in helping to curb the problem.
Many clothing companies are taking measures to reduce/reuse/recycle when it comes to the production of their textiles. From reducing pollution, pesticides, and the amount of water they consume, to reducing waste by using recycled cotton and other fabrics and using a zero waste cutting pattern, brands like Boden, Eileen Fisher, Patagonia, Levi’s and others are setting the stage and stepping up against fast fashion. Check out and support stores/eco-friendly clothing brands found HERE, just to name a few.
Thrifting and buying from second-hand sellers is a great way for you as a consumer to make an eco-conscious effort while picking up your own fashion-forward and fabulous finds. Check out resale apps like POSHMARK and check out my closet and more to find planet-friendly brands at a fraction of the price (and support small business while you are at it!).
Thrifting is not the only way that you can help respect and protect the planet. Here is just a small list of small changes you can implement into your daily routine that can make a big impact.
- Borrow instead of buy. Libraries are a great example of that, and as a career librarian, I can give you 1,000 reasons or more why libraries are essential to our planet. What else can you borrow? Make a list.
- Plan a neighborhood clean up. Think local subdivision, river/waterway, roadside, etc. Grab a group of friends and make an afternoon of it.
- Minimize your at home waste. Buy fewer pre-packaged items. Cut out using water bottles (it’s only one water bottle…said 8 million people). Find a great refillable bottle to use daily.
- Grow your own food. Start a small garden or plant some flowers or herbs from seed. Collect the seeds once the growing season ends and reuse them for the following year. It’s a cycle of growing that keeps on giving.
What are ways that you include sustainability and eco-consciousness to your life? I’d love to hear about it. Send me a comment below.