Earth Day Tips: 10 Ways to Fight Climate Change Today (and Every Day)

When you live on Earth (which 99.9% of us do…), every day is Earth Day.  Since every action we take affects our Mothership (hello Butterfly Effect), a little positive change can go a long way. Here are 10 easy ways you can help fight climate change, because we’re all earthlings and we’d like to keep it that way.

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1. No more single-use plastic ever. 

You’ve heard it before but we’ll say it again for the kids in the back: single-use plastic is a REAL bummer. Bad news: Humans buy about 1,000,000 plastic bottles per minute and only 23% of plastic bottles are recycled within the U.S. Good news: There are SO many great reusable options for water bottles, sandwich bags, grocery and produce bags, metal straws, silverware, alternatives to Saran Wrap like Bee’s Wrap – the possibilities are endless, and they’ve gotten really easy to find.

2. Shop brands that give back.

When everyone’s selling something, it can be tough to know who’s doing it in a responsible way. A few tips: Look for brands that are part of 1% for the Planet  (that’s us), Conservation Alliance (us too), or are B-Corp Certified (workin’ on it). These are all signs that brands are doing their part to help save the planet.

3. Look for energy credits.

Lots of U.S. states offer tax credits for things like installing solar panels, making energy-efficient improvements to your home, or driving energy-efficient cars. Check out all the incentives your state offers here.

4. Reduce and Reuse.

Obviously recycling is important (fun fact: recycled fibers are the gold standard for conscious clothing), but Reducing and Reusing resources will have the biggest positive impact. Reuse the basics (pst: here’s our guide to 20 Reusable Everyday Items), and for goodness sakes attempt to FIX things before you replace them (here’s the 101 on how to sew a button). If you must, donate unwanted clothes to a program like The Renewal Workshop.

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5. Support your local farmers.

Most food in the US travels an average of 1,500 miles to get from “field to plate.” It takes 435 fossil-fuel calories to fly a 5-calorie strawberry from California to New York. Shopping locally-grown food cuts that down to basically ZERO. More bonuses to buying from local farmers: It’s generally organic (ie: doesn’t rely on synthetic or petroleum-based chemicals), it fosters a healthy ecosystem in your own backyard, and small farms help keep the natural balance between humans and wildlife (and many farms even act as Certified Wildlife Habitats).

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6. Bike, walk, run, skate….

Get that heart pumping and get moving the Flinstone way! Across the world, the longest-living people are the ones who have incorporated movement into their life daily. Walk to visit friend, ride your bike to the grocery store, get outside for a hike. Do things the old fashioned way (ie: without gasoline) and you’ll do right by the earth and the body.

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7. Volunteer.

What’s better than getting your hands a little dirty in the name of Planet Earth? Plant a tree. Pick up trash on the beach. Maintain trails. Do it with a friend and it’ll have twice the impact. Get your kids involved and you’ll have a Steward of the Earth for life. Here’s a great site called VolunteerMatch that will hook you up with local orgs doing cool things in your community.

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8. Make it official.

Take your dedication one step further and become a member of 1% for the Planet, a network of brands, organizations and individuals that are committed to giving back to the earth by supporting key issues related to climate, land, food, pollution, water and wildlife. Businesses commit to giving 1% of sales each year, and individuals (that’s you) can commit 1% of their salary or volunteer hours to approved nonprofits. If the karma points aren’t incentive enough, you’ll get exclusive discounts and prizes from the 1% network of brands (like Toad&Co!) who are committed to being better.

9. Vote.

Flex those democratic muscles and vote for candidates and policies that care, especially local politicians who are making decisions about your own backyard. Look for measures and representatives who are bike and pedestrian-friendly, protect natural areas, focus on waste management, and advocate for clean water.

10. Wear sustainable.

The apparel industry is the 4th largest polluter of air and water on Earth. The way we see it, you can either go nude or wear sustainable. (Shameless plug: we’re traversing the country in our sustainably-built “Go Nude” trailer to spread the word). Nudity isn’t always an option, but sustainable clothing is! 100% of our clothing is made with sustainable fibers and fabrics that are 3rd party certified for responsible manufacturing.

Shop Men’s and Women’s sustainable spring styles. Your Mother will approve.

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Earth Week is Here!

We have been celebrating Earth Day for as long as we’ve been making clothing, which (if you’re counting) is 22 years! Every April 22nd we reflect on the current state of the planet and look at how we can do our part to leave it a little better than we found it. From our deign philosophy to our customer service, we’re committed to creating a greener, more sustainable future for everyone. This year, we’re taking Earth Week (April 16 – April 22) to check-in with all our sustainability initiatives. Follow us on Instagram @toadandcoclothing for our sustainability updates throughout the week, and come say hi at our booth at the Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival!

We may be partial given that Earth Day originated in Santa Barbara, but we truly believe that our hometown has the most awesome Earth Day festival in all the land. With sustainability workshops, eco vendors, and the happy buzz of a community committed to environmental protection, the SB Earth Day Fest is a place for like minds to gather and to grow. This year we’ll have a tent by the beer garden (prime location, if you ask us), and we’re showing off our favorite new eco styles. Stop by our booth to take our polaroid #wearsustainable pledge!

DSC01606_FORBLOGIf you play your cards right, you may even meet Dr. Drew, the king of customer service.

This year’s Earth Week theme is End Plastic Pollution, an initiative we have long been committed to. This season we partnered with a recycling company, Repreve, to create  men’s and women’s styles made from upcycled plastic bottles. We’re putting our foot down when it comes to single use plastics, but it takes a little bit of action from everyone. So kudos to you for using reusable bags, skipping straws at Starbucks, and ditching plastic water bottles for reusable canteens. By eliminating single use plastic, we all contribute to a healthier, more sustainable planet. Every little bit counts and YOU make a difference. Happy Earth Week!

blue-plastic-bottles_inblogOne man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Our Eco styles feature fibers made from recycled bottles.

Recycled Polyester: Plastic 2.0

It’s no secret that single use plastics are becoming a big problem for Mother Earth. Plastic is a huge pain for two reasons. First, it takes a TON of energy and resources to make. It can be made from a variety of materials (natural gas, oil, coal, minerals, and plants), but turning it into a durable product requires excessive use of energy, heat, and chemicals. Plastic also takes hundreds of years to decompose naturally and its durability means that it ends up in places it shouldn’t be. There are 4 billion plastic microfibers per square km in the deep sea, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is twice the size of Texas, and it’s been estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean. Super scary, but also preventable if we take the right steps now. Knowledge is power, right?

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Here’s how you can make a difference starting right this minute. Take single use plastic out of your daily routine. Avoid plastic takeout containers, say no to straws, buy in bulk or at your local farmer’s markets, carry a reusable water bottle and a reusable grocery bag. These small changes can have a huge impact.

At Toad&Co, we’ve committed to reducing our use of single use plastic and finding ways to stem the flow of plastics into landfills. Our recycled polyester fibers are made from 100% post-consumer plastic bottles, and it takes about 9 bottles to make one T-shirt. Only 9% of the Earth’s plastic has been recycled, but we’re committed to boosting that percentage by using more recycled polyester across more styles each year.

We believe in upcycling and using the resources we’ve already created as a society. We share the planet with millions of living organisms who do their part to keep the environment clean, so it’s important we do our part too. It’s up to each of us to take responsibility for our use of single use plastics. Together, we can make a difference.

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When it comes to sustainable fibers, recycled fibers are the undisputed gold standard. Shop men’s recycled poly and women’s recycled poly styles.

 

 

The Coastodian

Richard James is the human embodiment of the motto “think globally, act locally.” Since 2008, he’s been quietly and painstakingly packing out trash of his backyard, the Tomales Bay area. In three years Richard removed over three tons of trash: plastic and styrofoam bits of all sizes, broken fishing gear, and plastic bottles from every corner of the earth. “But It’s not enough to pick up the trash. That’s just the symptom of a larger problem. If you don’t like the water on the floor, go fix the leaky faucet.”

In 2011 Richard set out to plug the leaky faucets. He began by helping change the habits of the local oyster farms by encouraging them replace and improve upon antiquated, faulty and polluting equipment. Next he raised public awareness around the ills of one-time use plastic bottles. Today his latest efforts are aimed at reminding state and local regulation services of their civic duties to protect our public lands. “If you don’t look, you don’t see,” Richard says. Our backyards are a great place to start looking – the future of our collective backyard depends on it. To learn more, check out Richard’s blog, coastodian.org.

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Photo by Richard James.

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For his morning kayak paddle, Richard is wearing the Flannagan Long Sleeve Shirt paired with the Rover Pant. When collecting trash along the waterfront, Richard is wearing the Watchdog Long Sleeve Shirt and Alex is wearing the Kennicott Shirt Jac. Both are wearing Rover Pants.