Posts Tagged 'reuse'

Thoughtful Thursdays: Let’s Make Everyday ‘Earth Day’

Blog-Header-ConservationExp

Every year since 1970, people around the world have come together on April 22 to celebrate the Earth. Considered the largest civic observance in the world, Earth Day is celebrated by restoring habitats and teaching others about conserving our planet’s natural resources and wildlife.

In recent years, the celebration of our planet has been extended by many to “Earth Week” and even “Earth Month.” I applaud those efforts to extend this day of recognition, however, they beg the question, when will we finally reach the time when every day is “Earth Day?”

With serious threats like climate change, ocean acidification and pollution having an increasingly negative impact on our ecosystems, one day a year to talk about the Earth simply isn’t enough. To make a real difference in the environment, we need to all adopt new behaviors in our daily lives – whether it’s in what we’re buying or what we’re throwing away – that can make an actual impact over time.

Since our inception, the National Aquarium has made a concerted effort to celebrate and preserve the Earth and its diverse ecosystems every day of the year. Whether it’s through engaging with the millions of people who visit our venues annually or through plantings and cleanups out in the field, our staff and volunteers are striving to change collective attitudes and behaviors that have harmed our planet for centuries. We celebrate Earth Day because it’s an opportunity to speak to folks about changing behaviors for the benefit of the planet and its people, but our goal is to minimize our impact on our natural world – and that happens 365 days a year.

This year, I’m asking you to join me in restoring and protecting our natural environment. There are a variety of actions you can take to minimize our individual and collective negative impacts. It’s can be as easy as:

Sticking to these principles (in this order);

  • Refuse –say NO THANKS to straws and lids when possible (we pick up thousands of these in our clean up events)
  • Reduce –carpool, take public transportation or bike or walk to work one day a week – a major source of pollution is emissions from our gas-powered vehicles
  • Reuse –get a reusable water bottle or shopping bag and USE it
  • Recycle –almost every local jurisdiction has a recycling program.  Make sure you are up-to-date on what your county/city can recycle.  The list has expanded tremendously over the past couple of years and close to 50-75% of our waste stream can be diverted from our landfills if we take advantage of the systems that are already in place

Buying local

Making the environment part of your purchasing considerations.  This includes small every day purchases and larger decisions such as appliances, lawn mowers and vehicles.

Conserving water

Joining us for any/all of our conservation events throughout the year

Join your local environmental organization for volunteer opportunities in your area

Even better, starting a conservation initiative of your own and engage your surrounding community!

I’ll be celebrating Earth Day along with everyone else this year, and I hope you do, too. From that day forward, let’s fight together to make our planet a cleaner, healthier place for all of us to share. 

Blog-Header-LauraBankey

Thoughtful Thursdays: Happy America Recycles Day!

We are committed to conservation and we strive to live our mission to inspire conservation of the world’s aquatic treasures, in everything we do.  Today, on America Recycles Day, we are happy to share with you some of the many ways our dedicated team’s hard work is paying off!

GREEN is in the numbers: 

  • 20.24 tons of organic materials were collected for composting
  • 45.72 tons of single-stream recycling were diverted from landfills
  • 2,135 pounds of technotrash and eCycling were diverted from landfills
  • 3.3 megawatts of electricity were saved thanks to energy efficiency upgrades to the lighting and water pump systems throughout our buildings
ECycled motherboards!

ECycled motherboards!

bird enrichment

Bird enrichment toy made from recycled newspapers!

In addition to our bigger programs, Aquarium staff are always thinking of new ways to reduce, reuse, recycle and repurpose materials for our everyday tasks! Our Animal Programs team is especially clever and has made numerous enrichment materials from used items!

  • Paper towel tubes as puzzle feeders for birds
  • Old phone books for our birds to shred
  • Used gift cards to open reptile mouths for medical exams
  • And much more…the list is endless!

Monty likes to hang out in recycled cardboard boxes

We invite you to use today’s celebration to adopt some easy recycling practices:

  • Take the America Recycles Day pledge
    (It’s never too early to get started on those New Year’s resolutions!)
  • Make it a family affair!
    Kick your new pledge into high-gear by sharing your commitment with your family/friends/community.
  • Discover new ways to recycle!
    We are a big fan of TerraCycle’s brigades , who collect previously non-recyclable or hard to recycle waste. Send your hard to recycle items off to TerraCycle and they will appropriately recycle for you!
  • Get crafty!
    Before you throw away that old pair of socks, t-shirt, book, cork, plastic milk jug or plastic water bottle check out these fun DIY crafts. They are easy (and cheap) ways to get a little more life out of these products.

Those are just a few ideas – we’d love to learn some new ones! What are YOUR favorite ways to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and/or Repurpose? 

Think green this holiday season

It has been said that between Thanksgiving and New Years, Americans throw away an extra million tons of garbage each week. This trash includes wrapping, packaging, cards, food, paper plates and napkins, party decorations, bottles and cans, and more. That is a lot of garbage! Have you thought about ways you can reduce, resuse, and recycle this holiday season? We have!

Thoughtful Choices

Each year we like to provide our visitors and followers with simple tips on how to be more conscious of our planet while joining in the holiday spirit. You may remember some of these tips from last year because they are too important to leave off the list. We have also added some new tips to help you go green, and hopefully even save a little green this month.

When decorating:

  • Buy a potted or “balled” Christmas tree and replant it after the holidays. You can create a year-round habitat for local wildlife.
  • If you purchase a cut tree, recycle or mulch the tree for use in gardens and playgrounds. Avoid discarding it in a landfill.
  • Trim your tree with edible ornaments like popcorn, cranberries or gingerbread cookies! Later, move your tree into the yard to give the birds a holiday treat.
  • Conserve electricity by installing a timer on holiday lights. Even better, invest in LED holiday lights which use 90% less electricity.
  • Choose candles made from beeswax or soy. Because paraffin wax candles are made from petroleum and release the equivalent of diesel exhaust when burned, you can save fossil fuel resources, improve your indoor air quality, and reduce your exposure to carcinogens by using beeswax or soy candles.

Continue reading ‘Think green this holiday season’


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