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Earth Day is a day that inspires trash pickups, water ways cleanups, and increased visibility of environmental causes. It falls on April 22, every year. It is an inspiring day to remember that the Earth is the only home we have, so we need to take care of it.

The first Earth Day was in 1970 and marks the birth of the modern environmental movement. Up until this time, there was rampant use of leaded gasoline, unfettered emissions from industry to the air and to the water, and dumping of hazardous materials wherever there was room. Rivers, such as the Cuyahoga in Ohio, caught fire. Even the Buffalo River burst into flames in 1968.

Building up to the dedication of Earth Day, there was increasing concern about how the environment was being utilized. Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring was published in 1962, describing a world without the songs of nature; fallout from the use of harmful pesticides, including DDT, on farmers’ fields. This book burst onto the scene and is widely regarded at the watershed moment that led to the first Earth Day.

Now, Earth Day is marked as a celebration of nature and all that has been done to sustainably protect it. There are a number of places that people can get involved in to celebrate the day. Local communities often host garbage cleanups, especially after the winter snow melt. The Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper hosts waterway cleanups in the Western New York Area. If you cannot make it to an event, host your own! Or you can use it as a time to make small changes that will add up to a bigger impact. Walk to work or errands, stop using disposable products, compost, unplug unused electronics, switch to LED bulbs, or any number of other of environmentally positive moves.

Here at Encorus, we have been working on small changes to company culture which will culminate in the drafting and acceptance of our sustainability program. So far, Encorus has a dedicated paper recycling stream, a single stream recycling program, and returnable bottle recycling program.  There is also a switch away from disposable plates and silverware, with ceramic cups and plates and metal silverware available for use. An energy efficient dishwasher is use to clean the dishes once it is full. When disposable products are used, they are paper and not Styrofoam or plastic. These small changes reduce the waste stream for the company and helps to remind employees to make positive choices at home.

So, this Earth Day, remember, we only have one planet, and you can help keep it beautiful.