Earth Day was first celebrated in the US on April 22nd, 1970, and from there spread out to be celebrated in many countries, including Canada. In short form, Earth Day serves us as a reminder to raise awareness and encourage us to take action against climate change and to help individuals and companies to lessen their impact on the environment urgently. Environmental consciousness is a big aspect of Barks&Biscuit's company mission.
By now, everyone has heard of the terms "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" but today we like to dig a little bit deeper. What does this actually mean for us? It is out of the question that the main contributors to carbon emission are big companies and mass producers. It can be frustrating to feel insignificant with our best efforts. But no effort is wasted on the mission to a more healthy environment! Below are some tips and tricks you can use and do as a consumer to positively change your environmental impact.
Rethink/Refuse/Reduce should be the biggest category, meaning rethink purchases and refuse if deemed unnecessary by you and your lifestyle, or reduce the overall amount. The classic example is to refuse the plastic bag at the grocery store or to choose unpackaged produce over plastic wrapped items. This allows us to send signals to big producers and mold the marked to more environmentally responsible means. So what can we as consumers actively do?
Did you know that about 58% of food goes to waste in Canada? This includes products sorted out as "imperfect" by the manufacturer/producer or spoilage in transport but also a whopping amount of unused food rotting away in the back of our fridges until we finally throw them out. It also comes down to who we support with our purchase. Purchasing locally does not only help our local business economy but also reduces emissions from transportation. Choosing organic choices does not always equal more healthy or better quality, but it does contribute to sustainable farming that preserves soil and biodiversity. Supporting local businesses goes hand in hand with eating seasonal produce, which means the items have undergone less preservation, and fewer emissions from cooling, storage, and transportation.
Let's talk about the elephant in the room: a major contributor to global emissions is animal agriculture. Livestock farming is responsible for about 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, 63% of overconsumption of Amazon deforestation, and water overconsumption. Going plant-based is not ideal for everyone, but what about skipping a few meat-based dishes?
throughout the pandemic year of 2020, (2021 and counting) we have been relying on electronic devices more than ever, with many people working from home. But there is such a thing as a digital emission footprint we can reduce to greatly lessen our negative impact on the environment. How do you ask? On average one email produces about 10gr CO2 to be sent, which amounts to 136 kg of CO2 for an average year per person added to our carbon footprint. That equals driving about 320km in a car! Tip: unsubscribe from all unwanted "spam" emails. This doesn't just declutter your busy email inbox but also helps the planet one little email at a time.
Moving down the pyramid, if we cannot choose a more responsible option, or refuse our purchase, we are looking at Reusing/Returning. This means finding new purposes for items you already have (for instance carrying your morning smoothie in an empty jam glass jar), or considering borrowing items from friends or purchasing them second hand.
Lastly, Recycle/Rot what we cannot refuse or reuse. This means, composting or recycling if possible. But be careful about what you recycle, different municipalities accept different item categories for recycling. By the way: All Barks&Biscuits packaging is certified industrially compostable! YAY
Also, return electric devices to stores that accept them for recycling, do not throw them or batteries into your home garbage.
the Takeaway: Reduce unnecessary items, Reuse what you have, Recycle if possible. Maybe go for a walk instead of a car ride, pick up some trash on the way and dispose of it properly, and enjoy a few more vegetarian meals.
We invite you to share your eco friendly habits in the comments below and tag us on Instagram @barks_and_biscuits in your EarthDay pictures.