Forty years ago on April 22, 1970 the first Earth Day was held. The state of the environment was not on the national political agenda and Senator Gaylord Nelson wanted to change that. With the support of President Kennedy, he had a vision of tapping the anti-war “teach-ins” movement sweeping college campuses and organizing a huge grassroots protest over what was happening to the environment. He invited the country to join him and they did. Earth Day was born, and more than 20 million demonstrators, schools and local communities rallied on April 22nd 1970 to share their concern over the state of their lands, rivers, lakes and air.
This year marks a milestone event in the environmental movement, celebrating the 40th Earth Day with the largest Climate Rally in history on the National Mall this Sunday, April 24th. Political activists, environmental leaders, and celebrities will share their voice in support of political action and human action that can change the fate of our great planet. Schlumpy, BlueAvocado’s plus-size ambassador for change, will join them, rolling past the memorials that represent the leadership of our great nation – the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Wall, and the White House. Schlumpy will invite thousands of Americans to kick their plastic bag habit on his crusade to get 1 billion bags off our streets and oceans (just a percent of the more than 340 billion plastic bags we consume every year).
But at BlueAvocado world headquarters, every day is Earth Day. We were inspired by a simple idea. How can we get our Moms, sisters, and friends to take a first step and recognize that environmental action starts with each of us? Our vision is simply to start with a ripple that leads to a splash. The coolest reusable shopping system was just our first step, we are now taking many more. Our triple-bottom line vision allows us to measurement of our economic, environmental and social impact every day with a reminder on a red chalkboard that dons our hallway of our stats to date. And etched above our door way and on every email, we embrace our mission - “Do good. Get it done.”
We strive to make this real – in our processes, our products and our people. In each of our products, we have a carbon footprint label that invites our shoppers to feel good about the difference they are making, reminding them of the plastic bags and CO2 they avoid every time they shop. And our fabric supplier – Repreve by Unifi – helps us make that easy, reclaiming waste (water bottles & yarn) and turning that into the fabulous products are customers love. So together our BlueAvocado customers with the help of our 600 retailers throughout the US and Canada have helped to avoid 20 million plastic bags, more than 1 million pounds of CO2 emissions and over 100 micro-loans via our 1% partnership with Kiva.org
We are on a journey, and it is our belief that we continuously strive for better. But this year, in celebration of the 40th Earth Day we decided to step up our game. Here are some of the things that we are doing behind the scenes to reduce our impact on the planet and inspire our collective team members to be part of our ripple - to think and act differently.
- 10% Carbon Footprint Reduction @ World HQ: Every employee calculated our carbon footprint and committed to reduce it by 10% by June 2010, some are taking on projects in their personal life (reusable coffee cups, biking), at their home (air filters) and community (planting school gardens) to find ways to reduce their impact. And we are celebrating this change.
- Our Sales Team Greens Up: Much of our national sales team has taken the challenge, calculating their carbon footprint for the first time, and making plans to reduce their impact as part of the Earth Day Network manifesto. We are rewarding them for their actions, too!
- Inspired Sur La Table Carbon Footprint Awareness & Internal Green Challenge: This Earth Day Sur La Table CEO issued a challenge to employees to calculate their carbon footprint, strive to reduce it, and receive a gift from BlueAvocado. The company went a step further, and invited their employees to share the ideas of the ways the company could “green its ways” inviting a GRAND PRIZE for the best idea.
- Support Whole Foods Corporate Team & Stores: BlueAvocado participates with Whole Foods corporate headquarters, inviting their team members to join our billion bag pledge and rewarding them with reusable totes.
- Schlumpy Takes National Stage: Schlumpy will take on the millions at the National Mall in DC this weekend with a goal to get closer to his goal of 1 billion plastic bags, just a fraction of the 340 billion we consume each year that litter our beaches and highways.
So if you haven’t already – calculate your carbon footprint – now. If you need some ideas on ways to invite change and become a more conscious shopper, click here. If you are paralyzed as to how to take the first step and don’t know where to start, dump your green guilt for good as it relates to keeping you from going green. Share your concerns with Schlumpy Nation and we will work together (with Schlumpy) to transform it into something magical! And if you’re looking for something to do in your community, find Earth Day activities that you can be a part of right now. And at the end of the day, it is about reflecting on those values that lie at your personal core and inviting change from that place. Afterall, we are all on the journey - together!
Because just like Senator Gaylor Nelson realized 40 years ago – a spontaneous response at the grassroots level can invite real change. You are proof of that.
Happy 40th Earth Day to our BlueAvocado family – from one small green business inviting the world to “do good and get it done.”
Big luv! Melissa, Amy & Paige