Earth Day Series (1) – Earth Day & The Daily R’s
April 22nd is Earth Day. This week April 16-22, I will be sharing with you ideas and projects to help create better awareness of environmental issues and develop interest to commit to help care for our home- planet Earth.
Today’s Topic: Earth Day and the Daily R’s
Today’s Project: The Daily R’s Shirt (spread the word about the 5 R’s)
A Little About Earth Day
International Mother Earth Day was established in 2009 by the General Assembly [of the UN] under Resolution A/RES/63/278. The Resolution was introduced by The Plurinational State of Bolivia and endorsed by over 50 member states. It recognizes that “the Earth and its ecosystems are our home” and that “it is necessary to promote harmony with nature and the Earth.” The term Mother Earth is used because it “reflects the interdependence that exists among human beings, other living species and the planet we all inhabit”. It is decided to designate April 22 as International Mother Earth Day.
General Assembly President Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann welcomed the creation of International Mother Earth Day, saying: “International Mother Earth Day promotes a view of the Earth as the entity that sustains all living things found in nature. Inclusiveness is at the heart of International Mother Earth Day; fostering shared responsibilities to rebuild our troubled relationship with nature is a cause that is uniting people around the world.”
Our Daily R’s
The Fourth R
We’re all pretty familiar with the three ‘R’s’ – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – many of us, including many product designers and manufacturers, give short shrift to the fourth ‘R’: Repair. Before recycling comes repair.
Repair didn’t used to be so neglected. It used to be the norm. (Ask your grandma, or even your mom, what she did when something broke when she was growing up.) Once there were 120,000 shoe repair shops in the United States. Today there are only 7,000. The numbers of appliance and electronics repair shops have also been in long-term decline (although they’ve had a slight resurgence in the current recession).
The relatively recent trend of tossing our worn out shoes instead of heading to the cobbler is part of a strategy to make us buy, chuck and replace stuff. Retailing analyst Victor Lebow wrote in 1955, as the post-World War II consumer society was really taking off: “Our enormously productive economy demands that we make consumption our way of life … we need things consumed, burned up, replaced and discarded at an ever-accelerating rate.” Even Consumer Reports, the bible for buying quality, long-lasting goods, advises us to replace, rather than try to repair, a broken laptop if it’s more than four years old.
It’s time to replace replace with repair. Repairing our Stuff saves us money. Repairing our Stuff provides millions of good jobs. Best of all, repairing our Stuff throws a strategic monkeywrench into the take-make-waste-system. So let’s fix it, rather than nix it!
Annie Leonard talks about the 4 R’s..Reduce, Reuse, REPAIR & Recycle..however there is another R that has to be added..Rethink!
You can rethink about the waste you produce by using alternative products and considering how you can further reduce your environmental footprint.
However, it’s not enough just to put recyclables in the bin; you must rethink about what you can do to root out unnecessary wastefulness.
How should I start to rethink?
You can start to practice rethink at any time; particularly when you purchase and discard items.
Minimizing the amount of waste you create can bring about a more sustainable environment for future generations. Rethink before throwing away an item you think is broken, worn out, or is no longer wanted. Before discarding any item, first ask yourself the following questions:
Can it be reused?
Is it repairable?
Is it recyclable?
And here are some tips to help you Rethink when shopping:
- Purchase items with minimal packaging.
- Buy local! Locally made goods don’t have to be shipped far and generally consume less packaging.
- Buy in bulk or “value pack” where possible. You’ll save money buying the items you use a lot of in bulk. Some products aren’t available in bulk yet are available in large containers or in concentrate. You can save an average of 52% off heavily packaged products by shopping this way.
- Purchase durable products that can last a lifetime. You’ll probably end up spending a lot less over time, and aren’t wasting time replacing inferior goods that just don’t last.
- Choose classic colors and styles that become staples in your home and closet and last several seasons of use.
- Purchase products that are refillable or reusable.
- When buying clothes, be ruthless on fit. When you buy things that fit you are more likely to wear them for the long term.
Design & Print ‘The Daily R’s Shirt’
to help spread the word about the 5R’s
The Daily R’s of Sustainable Living
Design by Paulina Constancia
Sun- daily sustainable practices
Sun Rays- enlightened earthling
Earth Unicycle-only one planet -fragile and needing care/balance
Unicycling- the Daily R’s may be difficult to commit to
in the beginning but with regular practice it can become part of your everyday life. The earth depends on us to take it to a sustainable future.
Green Clothing- green practices/good for the planet
Different colour of balls- making daily choices: “which R will be appropriate?”/sorting of garbage
Equal sized balls- all R’s are equally important
Gather your family and friends.
Design/print shirts that promote
‘The Daily 5 R’s Required
for Sustainable Living’.
But remember to practice what you preach!
|Here is my sample design on a black shirt
|The more colours-the merrier …and the more people will be drawn to the message.
|Inspirational Quotes for Earth Day and Beyond
“Every day is Earth Day.” -Unknown
“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”-Native American Proverb
“… do something. Pay your rent for the privilege of living on this beautiful, blue-green, living Earth.”
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtfully committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”-Margaret Mead
“We cannot solve the problems we have created with the same thinking that created them.”