Celebrate Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary, From Home

By Beth Turnbull

A Green Guide from the Matter team

April 22, 2020, marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and what we now recognize as the modern environmental movement. Most years, one billion individuals from 190 countries participate in Earth Day activities like roadside or river cleanups, planting trees, or starting community garden programs. So what will Earth Day look like this year while the majority of Americans remain in their homes? 

At Matter, we are dedicated to fostering the best workplace environment we can, and that extends beyond office walls. Earlier this year, we launched our sustainability committee to ensure that all of our offices are contributing to the betterment, rather than the detriment, of the climate and environment. Comprised of 40 members across all of Matter’s offices, the team is dedicated to identifying eco-friendly office supply swaps, organizing volunteering events and educating employees and clients alike about environmentally-friendly options and activities.

So how can you and your family (safely) give a little love to the planet this year? We have some ideas. 

Check your city’s recycling guidelines.

Many of us are well-intentioned when it comes to recycling. We collect our paper and plastic and set our blue bins out every week. However, what makes its way into those bins is not always acceptable. Common contaminants like greasy pizza boxes, coffee cups, and grocery bags can ruin a whole bin of otherwise fine recyclables. Additionally, not all plastic or glass products may be accepted by your city, so be sure to do some research on what is and isn’t accepted. 

Consider composting.

Once you master your recycling program it’s time to consider a second life for your food scraps. If it comes from the earth – vegetable scraps, fruit peels, eggshells – it can be given back. All these things provide vital nutrients for the soil and can help new plants flourish. 

Collect your food scraps in an airtight container or freezer bag and check your city’s website to see if they offer collection services or drop-off areas. If your city doesn’t offer this and you have some outdoor space, consider building your own compost pile. 

Work on your green thumb.

One of the best ways you can honor the environment is to start planting! Next time you buy a fruit or vegetable with seeds, save a few and start growing your own produce. Plants not only provide beauty and nourishment but help clean the air we breathe. It’s also a great excuse to let your kids get their hands dirty! 

Clean out your closet.

Let’s face it, we all have plenty of time to do this. Instead of throwing away your old clothes, consider donating them to a local organization or repurposing them into reusable cleaning rags, pillowcases, tote bags and more! 

Did you know the fashion industry is responsible for 10 percent of annual global carbon emissions? That’s more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined! So, if you’re in the mood to do some shopping after your cleaning spree, consider buying second-hand clothing from sites like ThreadUp.

There are plenty of ways to incorporate giving back to the environment in your everyday life and Earth Day’s 50th birthday is a great excuse to start or improve! From all of us at Matter, we wish you and your families a happy and safe Earth Day!