In the past month, so much has shifted. Many of you are at home wondering what the future holds and when this will be behind us. As we all come together to keep our community safe, we are reminded of the bond that unites us, this magical amazing place we call home.
As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, let's reflect on how we can become better citizens to our Mother Earth. How can we protect this place we love so much?
Here are 7 ways you can have a positive impact from your home this Earth week and beyond courtesy of Green Team Member and Planet Over Plastics Coalition Chair Inga Johansson.
1 – Declutter your conscience and closet
As we sit at home amidst our mountain of stuff, why not declutter your mind by decluttering your space? There are so many places to declutter, especially in your closet.
If you haven’t worn it in 6 months, it’s time to let it go! With the local free box and thrift store closed, you may be headed to the neighborhood dumpster? WAIT! Did you know that 5 percent of landfills are comprised of textile waste? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calculated that 11.2 million tons of textiles were discarded in 2017 alone. And US citizens each throw out an average of 70 lbs annually. So many options for our textile waste. You can help your closet feel decluttered and help your planet at the same time!
Buy less, donate, upcycle and recycle! Check out the many ways you can transform your closet and our mountain of textile waste! How To Recycle Old Clothing. You can also sell your nicer items through thredUP or Poshmark.
Buying more does not solve the problem, but when you do, here are some tips for keeping your fashion more eco-friendly. Eco-Fashion: 3 Simples Ways To Dress In A More Ecological Way
2 – Dust off that bookshelf
Speaking of decluttering, how many books are sitting on your shelves collecting dust? How many treasured tales are just waiting to be explored and shared?
Take some time to go through your books and give them a second life. If you can, put them aside to donate to the Wilkinson Public Library and their annual book sale which generates a large portion of their funding! The sale has been rescheduled you can find information about the next sale at Friends of the Library Annual Book Sale.
There are other fun ways to give your books a second life like bookcrossing where you leave it for a stranger to find, or Bookfreeswap and BookMooch which allow you to register your books online and get notified when they are wanted by someone. As most of these swaps require you to go to the post office, you may need to just set them aside until you can make that trip.
3 – Grow Roots
Let’s face it, we all have been to the store and seen empty shelves and considered the reality of living in a remote mountain town, depending on long-distance shipping for all of our food. And how sustainable is this for our planet with the EPA calculating that 28 percent of greenhouse gas emissions are caused by transportation. This pandemic has many people questioning the reality of our food system. Why not start your own and alleviate it a bit! Not only does digging in the dirt help the planet, but it can also increase your overall health and decrease your stress. Preventive Medicine Reports Study found that gardening, “can improve physical, psychological, and social health.” During these uncertain and stressful times, gardening is a true remedy.
Worried about the altitude, check out our local Gardening at Altitude guide!
No seeds left to buy, check out: Lockdown gardening: How to grow plants when you can’t buy them.
No pots left at the hardware, no problem, here are Techniques for Making Your Own Biodegradable Seedling Pots.
4 – You are what you eat
Shopping for food seems to be the weekly chance to get out of the house these days, and it provides the perfect opportunity to get in touch with your kitchen pantry with time to prepare meals without the rush of your normal to and from lifestyle. And what a better time to reflect on the sustainability of your diet!!
Where does our food come from? What impact does it have on our environment? Does it use much water or land? How much does it pollute? Is it local? Is it seasonal? How are our meat sources raised and processed? Which seafood is being overfished in certain areas? Are our diets sustainable? Vegetarian, Omnivore, Organic, Locavore: The Environmental Impact Of Your Food Decrypted.
You may also qualify for the Town of Mountain Village’s Farm to Community program, bringing 23 weeks of local produce to our residents. Waitlist application as currently being accepted.
5 – Rep Local
We all know that our businesses survive and thrive on tourism. Never has it been more important to support local! Small-owned businesses are being particularly affected, but Telluride’s business owners are resourceful!
Instead of Amazon, take the time to support local retail businesses during COVID-19 closure.
You can also support local restaurants with take-out…and REMEMBER to ask for less packaging! No need for that extra silverware or sauce since you can enjoy your meal in the comfort of your home!
6 – Feed your brain
Knowledge is power. As we sit at home and catch up on movies and series, why not get up to date on what is happening to our planet? From the overwhelming accumulation of pollution and garbage to the ecological degradation and soil depletion and the ever-increasing need to reduce greenhouse gasses and mitigate the climate crisis, we need a new movement of informed and concerned activists!
Alternate 10 Best Documentaries Raising Awareness On Climate Change or the new and moving Plastic Wars alongside your next Netflix binge.
If this inspires you to go deeper, take a course on an issue that moves you. EdX offers courses from Harvard University to MIT, Skillshare caters to art-related content while the Khan Academy has a broad list of courses. This week don’t miss the free EarthX 2020 livestream.
7- Be the change
If you want to make a long-lasting impact in your community, sign up to volunteer. We need you to make this world a better place. PROTECT WHAT YOU LOVE!! The Planet Over Plastics Initiative needs you! You can also help the Telluride Foundation with Community Resources for Individuals and Families during this hard time.
Most importantly…stay safe and protect what you love!