Each year Earth Day is celebrated as a global event and it is believe that more than 1 billion people in 192 countries take part in what is the largest civic-focused day of action in the world. Since January 2017, our offices of the Russo Law Group have focused our attention on becoming “paper-light.” We store our files digitally and provide our staff the tools and resources needed to aid in the reduction of printing practices and incoming paper documents. All incoming paper is scanned and then recycled. Our printers are set as a default to automatically print on both sides to reduce large document page counts.

Earth Day was started on April 22, 1970 and motivated 20 million Americans to launch the modern environmental movement. Since then the passage of the landmark Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act have been made possible. Today, Earth Day, celebrated globally and motivating 200 million people in 141 countries are bringing environmental issues to the world stage.

Some other initiatives that our employees have be conscious of and use good practices are when commuting to work by using mass transit and carpooling when available. We use reusable bottles in the office and recycle any plastic bottles that we use. We make sure to Power Down our electronics and turn off lights when office and conference spaces are empty. As many as half of all office workers in America who use a PC don’t shut it down at the end of the day, which wastes 20 tons of CO2 per year.

Deanna M. Eble, Partner at Russo Law Group has a weekly collection from all employees at the firm of plastic bottle for the unique purpose for her two young boys not only to become familiar with recycling but also for them to purchase one of their favorite toys, Legos! This idea is great to pass along and provide children with the mindset to recycle at an early age and help the environment. Lego is among the top 10 companies with the best corporate social responsibility reputation, according to Reputation Institute’s annual CSR RepTrak.

Plastic bag usage adds up annually to approximately 500 billion plastic bags being used worldwide and more than one million bags are used every minute. By providing our clients and employees with reusable tote bags we have initiate decreased our use of plastic bags when shopping or carrying items.

The Earth Day theme for 2018 is End Plastic Pollution. Plastic pollution is clogging our waterways, killing and injuring wildlife, and endangering our health and safety. Plastic was invited in 1907 and since became a large part of every-day life.  According to the New York Times, the main cause for the increase in plastic production is the rise of plastic packaging. In 2015 packaging accounted for 42% of non-fiber plastic produced. That year, packaging also made up 54% of plastics thrown away.

By 2050, it is estimated that there will be more plastic in the world’s oceans than fish. Every human being on earth depends on the oceans. We have the responsibility to protect the oceans and their inhabitants so they remain for future generations.

Did you know that around the globe there are five massive patches of marine plastic? These huge concentrations of plastic debris cover large swaths of the ocean; the one between California and Hawaii is the size of the state of Texas.

This video, “What Really Happens to the Plastic you Throw Away” by Emma Bryce, depicts that when plastic is thrown into a landfill and rainwater infiltrates the material, this can make the toxic chemical leachate. Another fate of plastics is ending up in one of five plastic patches that collect in certain parts of the world’s oceans.

The opportunity now is to use the 50th anniversary of Earth Day as a way to re-ignite the environmental movement and unite the vast array of groups and individuals who care for and protect the earth. There is a plan in development for the 2020 Earth Day, to bring people and institutions together to build a new narrative for the planet.

Some of the past years initiatives include:

  • Earth Day’s 2017 theme was Environmental and Climate Literacy. To solve the dire environmental threats facing us in the 21st century, we must build a global citizenry fluent in environmental issues that can organize for action.
  • Earth Day’s 2016 theme was Trees for the Earth. Our Canopy Project works on the ambitious goal of planting 7.8 billion trees – one for every person on the planet – by Earth Day 2020.

 

Resources:

Use this Plastic Pollution Calculator https://www.earthday.org/plastic-calculator/ to discover how many plastic items you consume yearly and craft a plan to reduce your plastic pollution footprint.

Follow the social conversation #EarthDay2018, #EndPlasticPollution

To find out more on Earth Day visit: https://www.earthday.org/earthday/

 

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