Earth Day is the world’s largest environmental movement and is celebrated in more than 193 countries to promote environmental awareness and increase efforts to protect our planet. This Monday, April 22, is the official Earth Day for 2019, and there are local events in Bend both this weekend and next in its honor.
This Saturday, April 20, head downtown for the annual Earth Day Fair & Parade hosted by the Environmental Center. Costumes that represent our natural world are encouraged for this colorful celebration featuring a parade at 11:30 a.m. and live music, local food and family-friendly activities from noon to 3 p.m. Next Saturday, April 27, Mt. Bachelor will host its Earth Day Celebration from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at West Village in conjunction with the 10 Barrel Snow Beach + BBQ event. Enjoy live music, enter a raffle benefiting Protect Our Winters and learn about the ski industry’s most sustainable companies. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own cup and the Broomsmen, a local, award-winning company, will help make this event “Zero Waste”.
We love these local Earth Day events in Bend for the inspiration they provide to help reduce our impact and improve sustainability 365 days a year. Although we’ve expanded our 1% campaign to include support for children and housing, the cornerstone of our charitable giving is environmental initiatives. In our business, we embrace technology and practices that help us reduce waste and protect natural resources, like DocuSign, an electronic, cloud-based solution that helps us minimize the amount of paper used for real estate transactions.
In our daily lives, there are many ways we can make small, incremental changes that can have a profound impact. Here are a few ideas for celebrating Earth Day every day in Bend.
- Separate garbage and recycle appropriate items according to the guidelines provided by Deschutes Recycling.
- It’s amazing–and sometimes alarming–how much of what we consume is contained in things we throw away, but either reusing or recycling containers and packaging is a great way to reduce waste.
- Choose natural cleaning supplies over chemicals when possible. Vinegar and baking soda work wonders in many areas of your home, including floors, bath tubs and windows.
- Select low-VOC paints and building materials when remodeling and updating your home.
- Incorporate energy-efficient materials and appliances. Not only will you reduce your energy costs, but you could receive tax breaks as well.
- Compost. There are many self-contained, discreet options for composting that do not violate neighborhood HOAs.
- Bring your own reusable shopping bags. Local and state legislation may soon ban single-use plastic bags and charge for paper bags.
- Politely decline plastic straws and to-go cups when possible. Plastic straws are not recyclable.
- Shop mindfully by choosing items that are minimally packaged.
- Buy in bulk. Many of our local grocery stores, including Safeway, Whole Foods, Food 4 Less and Natural Grocers offer unpackaged pantry items that help reduce waste.
- Buy products that are made of recycled materials.
- Support companies that embrace sustainable practices for manufacturing, distributing and packaging.
- Leave your greens. Those carrot tops you throw away when you get home? Newport Avenue Market will take them before you leave the store and add them to their compost pile which gets repackaged as affordable, nutrient-dense potting soil.
- Use refillable water bottles and coffee cups. Some local coffee shops in Bend are offering discounts for filling your own cup instead of a disposable one.
- Pack in, pack out. Simply put, what you take with you on the trail should come back with you, including wrappers, leftover food and any trash.
- Leave no trace. Once romanticized, defacing trees or rock walls to commemorate an outdoor excursion is not respectful to the environment or other users.
- Repair damaged gear instead of replacing it. Patagonia of Bend and The Gear Fix repair outdoor clothing and gear including tents, sleeping bags and ski boots.
- Stay on designated trails. Hikers and mountain bikers who avoid mud puddles or other obstacles on trails unwittingly disturb natural habitat. The Central Oregon Trail Association offers guidelines on responsible trail use.
- Donate gear with lots of life left to various outdoor and youth sport organizations including Oregon Adaptive Sports, Bend Endurance Academy and MBSEF.