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Tips for Going Green on Earth Day

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I’m Natalie, a product owner at Far Reach—and a tree hugger.

I'm not a Prius-driving, vegan type of tree hugger, but a "gets the sudden urge to pass said Prius driver in my SUV, yet wants to pick recyclable objects out of other people's trash" type. It's all about balance!

Jokes aside, I think Earth Day (which is Monday, April 22, 2019) is a great opportunity to reflect upon the choices we make as an individual, a family, or an organization when it comes to our planet. For me, Earth Day isn't just a day—it's a lifestyle that encompasses caring about our environment; not only for our own benefit, but also for those around us and the planet’s future inhabitants.

A friend of mine brought this point home for me recently when I was talking to him about how my neighbors and I were thinking about planting a bunch of trees in our new development. I joked that they take so long to get big, we'd probably be moved on to a different house before they were nice and shady. He non-judgmentally posed the question: "But what about those after you?"

That simple question had such an enormous impact on me that my new favorite quote is this anonymous Greek proverb: "Society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in."

And, of course, I need to shout out the famed Hamilton lyric: “What is a legacy? It's planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.”

With that said, it's not easy to put other people's environmental inheritance first; if it were, we'd all do it all the time, right? "Make a Difference" is Far Reach's first core value. It emboldens us to give back to our community (which we have fun with) and empowers us to make great products and provide great service. All of which takes effort and intention.

I was on a walk the other night with my family and noticed trash speckling the side of the road, recently uncovered from the massive snow drifts. I said out-loud to my husband, "Somebody should pick this up." Or, as Lily Tomlin famously said, "Somebody should do something about that. Then I realized I am somebody." Nevertheless, I came to that same realization right after the words came out of my mouth.

As "somebody," how are you going to "Make a Difference"?

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Refuse what you actually don't want (i.e. free stuff)
  • Be intentional about what you're buying, where you're buying from, and what it’s made of (i.e. need vs want, local vs shipped, cotton vs polyester, etc.)
  • Unsubscribe to junk mail, determine what mail you'd prefer electronically, and update those preferences
  • Turn down plastic straws and use reusable ones or don’t use one at all
  • Purchase reusable cloths and napkins instead of paper towels/napkins
  • Refill ink cartridges
  • Give consumer feedback about companies’ green practices (or lack thereof)
  • Reduce plastic usage by using bar shampoo and soap, reusable snack and produce bags, cotton shopping bags, etc.
  • Bring your reusable mug to work and coffee shops
  • Instead of buying bottled water, use a refillable bottle and fill it from the tap or a water fountain
  • Learn about proper recycling and recycling contamination
  • Compost
  • Collect rainwater with a water barrel for use in your yard and garden
  • Sow seeds for bee-friendly plants
  • Purchase products that are more recyclable than others (e.g., glass baby food jars instead of plastic food pouches)
  • Watch A Plastic Ocean
  • Shop in the bulk food section with your own reusable containers
  • So many more!

How are you making a difference for our planet and the generations of future inhabitants to follow? Reach out and let us know.

Happy Earth Day!
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Refuse

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