Next week, people around the world will celebrate both Earth Day and Arbor Day. Those famous events, however, have never been celebrated like this before.
The global coronavirus pandemic has forced organizers of both events to radically change their plans. Both events traditionally feature lots of in-person group activities, but this year they’ve had to roll out digital alternatives. Meeting their goals, more crucial now than ever, will be a challenge.
Here’s a look at how Earth Day and Arbor Day are facing the challenge of protecting the world’s natural resources with people in worldwide quarantine.
Earth Day Goes Digital on Its 50th Anniversary
This year is the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day—April 22, 1970. Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson conceived the idea of a “national teach-in on the environment” after a massive 1969 oil spill off Santa Barbara, California.
The first Earth Day was a turning point in the world environmental movement. In the U.S., it was transformative. According to the Earth Day website, it “… led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts.”
Over the years, the Earth Day Network has engaged more than one billion people in more than 190 countries not just to fight pollution, but to educate others on sustainability issues and promote green investments. It’s a year-round commitment, not just one day each year.
This year’s all-digital Earth Day celebration includes hundreds of events worldwide, from global telematic arts events to home-based recycling and reusability drives.
Even digitally, Earth Day 2020 should be as vital as ever.
Why Earth Day Matters to Sloan
Many of the ideas promoted by Earth Day are also mirrored in Sloan’s commitment to sustainability.
This commitment is embodied in three key areas: environmental impact, people's safety and wellness, and product verification:
- We're transparent about how our products are made. Our Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) communicate how much a product's composition impacts the environment across its entire life cycle.
- We're open about what's inside our products. Our Health Product Declarations (HPDs) provide a transparent account of the materials and substances contained within our products, as well as any potential human health effects they might have.
- We're dedicated to the long term. Our Declare Labels answer three key questions: Where does the product come from? What is the product made of? Where does the product go at the end of its life cycle?
On Earth Day, we affirm that the actions we take today to protect the environment can have a monumental impact on tomorrow, and we're doing all we can to build a brighter future.
The Enduring Spirit of Arbor Day
On Arbor Day, everyone goes out to plant trees, right?
This year’s Arbor Day, April 24, will be different. The volunteering opportunities and community events will happen online. But if the history of Arbor Day is any indication, the day’s impact will be just as powerful.
The first Arbor Day—the brainchild of Nebraska farmer J. Sterling Morton—was held April 10, 1872. Morton recognized the value of trees not just as fuel and building material, but also as windbreaks, soil preservers, and shade providers. The Arbor Day Foundation was founded in 1972 to continue Morton’s mission of inspiring people to plant, celebrate, and nurture trees.
How can you celebrate Arbor Day 2020? The Foundation offers a full page of alternative celebration ideas, along with a fun guide for families.
Sloan and the Arbor Day Foundation
Sloan has a special connection with the Arbor Day Foundation—a partnership that makes possible our line of carbon-neutral commercial restroom products.
As a company that takes sustainability very seriously, we’re always looking for ways to help our customers design and build more sustainable commercial restrooms, and we’re vigilant about our own impact on the environment. That’s why we offset our carbon footprint.
We calculate our carbon footprint by utilizing data from our EPDs to identify exactly how much carbon is generated when producing our products. Then, leveraging this data, we proudly partner with the Arbor Day Foundation to purchase an equal number of reforestation credits to offset the carbon we've generated. With every Sloan flushometer produced, for example, Sloan plants 2.5 trees to offset production.
These reforestation credits go toward efforts by the Arbor Day Foundation in the Mississippi River Alluvial Valley forestry project—efforts that improve water quality, stabilize soil, help control flooding, restore wildlife habitats, and create jobs.
We’re proud to partner with the Arbor Day Foundation in such a powerful sustainability initiative, and we know Arbor Day 2020—along with Earth Day 2020—will continue to inspire communities worldwide to help protect our irreplaceable natural environments.
Sloan helps architects, designers, engineers, and building owners stylish, sustainable commercial restrooms. Like to know more? Talk to Sloan!
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