Posts Tagged“earth day”

Washington County Recycling Award

Our company has long been committed to green business practices, and in recognition of our efforts, Solutions (as part of Norm Thompson Outfitters) received an award for Excellence in Waste Prevention, Recycling and Environmental Purchasing on Earth Day 2010. We now join an elite group of Portland-area businesses who have been recognized for their progressive recycling efforts.
Green Cleaning Supplies
In celebration of Earth Day’s 40th anniversary, our company’s “Green Team” (made up of employee volunteers) put together an informational event designed to help our staff better understand what and where to recycle while at work and at home. A full layout of the cleaning products used in our building and of what objects can and can’t be recycled was displayed for employees to see.
reusable bags
In addition to enjoying an array of eco-friendly refreshments, each employee received a cloth shopping bag containing a live, Pacific Crabapple sapling.

On April 22, millions of Americans and people from all over the world will take time to honor and celebrate planet Earth. They’ll plant trees, dedicate parks, clean up rivers, take public transportation and participate in hundreds of other activities that heighten awareness of environmental issues. Earth Day is a time to reflect on our planet’s fragility, resilience and recovery. It’s a unifying event that brings people together, no matter their age, race, nationality or political agenda. The thread that binds them is their desire to respect, honor and protect the planet.

The environmentally concerned statesman

Earth Day was the brainchild of Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin, who in 1962 was concerned that “the state of our environment was simply a non-issue in the politics of the country.”

“All across the country,” he wrote, “evidence of environmental degradation was appearing everywhere, and everyone noticed except the political establishment. The people were concerned, but the politicians were not.” In 1963, he persuaded President Kennedy to take a national conservation tour. While it did little to bring the issue to the forefront, it did become the seed of what was to become Earth Day.

Overwhelming response

Through the ‘60s, Nelson continued to speak on environmental issues. While on a conservation speaking tour in 1969, he saw how non-violent protests called “teach-ins” were effectively used on college campuses to protest the war in Vietnam. He believed this grassroots approach would work well to heighten public awareness of environmental issues. Nelson announced that in the spring of 1970, there would be a nationwide “demonstration” on behalf of the environment.

“The response was electric,” Nelson said. “Inquiries poured in from all across the country. The American people finally had a forum to express its concern about what was happening to the land, rivers, lakes and air.” The country was ripe for such a demonstration, as evidenced by the participation of two thousand colleges and universities, ten thousand high schools and grade schools, and thousands of communities. In all, 20 million Americans participated in that first Earth Day on April 22, 1970.

From activism to acts

This was the beginning of the environmental movement in the United States. That same year saw the formation of the Environmental Protection Agency. By 1980, multiple environmental acts became law: the Clean Air Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Safe Drinking Water Act, among many others. What started as a grassroots effort is now an international event celebrated by billions of people from around the planet. Until his death in 2005 at the age of 89, Nelson remained dedicated to improving and protecting the environment.

Get involved

Want to know what activities are planned for Earth Day in your community? Contact the mayor’s office, city hall, newspapers, radio and TV stations, children’s and science museums, colleges and universities, and non-profit environmental groups. You may not find a “teach-in,” but you’re sure to find an activity you and your family can participate in to show your concern for the planet.

Tidbits about Gaylord Nelson, founder of Earth Day:

Governor of Wisconsin 1959-1962

  • U.S. Senator from Wisconsin 1963-1981
  • Earth Day founder
  • Co-sponsor of the National Environment Education Act
  • Counselor of the Wilderness Society
  • Created legislation to:
    • Preserve the 2,000-mile Appalachian Trail
    • Mandate fuel efficiency standards in automobiles
    • Control strip mining
    • Establish the St. Croix Wild and Scenic Riverway (MN/WI), and the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore (in Lake Superior off the Wisconsin shoreline)

Originally posted in 2008.

“I compost food scraps (not meat) and yard waste. I use canvas bags at groceries and carry a string bag in my purse. I hang my clothes out to dry, and use cloth napkins and order my toilet paper ,100% recycled, by the case. We do not use paper towels. I contribute to three environmental groups, plus I drive the original 2001 Prius!”

-Colleen Butterfield

Editors note: Be sure to check out all the “going green” stories submitted by our readers:

earthAt Solutions, we do our best to stay environmentally aware. We recycle, offer our employees free public transportation passes, give rewards to carpoolers – we even work in one of the nation’s first “green” buildings!

What do you do to help the environment? Share your plan for reducing your carbon footprint with us – if we choose to feature your story, we’ll treat you to a $200 shopping spree at!

Submit your story in the comments section (be sure to include your email address) by midnight, April 22 PDT.

Editors note: Thanks everyone for the stories and ideas! Comments are now closed on this post.