Celebrate 50 Years of Protecting the Earth

EarthDay-Blog (1)

Sometimes a brighter way forward and an opportunity to come together can present itself when you least expect it.

In 1969, a Union Oil platform off the coast of California was drilling a well that blew out, spilling over 3 million gallons of oil into the ocean. The damage to the environment was immense, and over 10,000 sea animals died including sea birds, sea lions, and dolphins. This disaster was known as the Santa Barbara Oil Spill.

In response, this catastrophe quickly mobilized environmentalists to create environmental protections, regulations, and educational materials in order to ensure accidents of this nature were as few and far between as humanly possible.

After seeing the enormous 800-square-mile oil slick from a plane, environmentalist and United States Senator Gaylord Nelson was inspired to create a day in which the entire nation would recognize its duty to protect our planet. So, exactly 50 years ago today, he founded the very first Earth Day. In doing so, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in recognition of his hard work.

Earth Day 2020 

Today we face a different sort of crisis, and while many of us are confined to our homes for the time being, we can all still do our part to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Many of us may be already inadvertently helping the environment by driving less and wasting less, but there are still a few extra things you can easily do from your home to help protect our environment:

  • Double-check what materials are accepted by your recycling service and keep recycling them. Services should continue during the stay-at-home orders
  • Buy fewer disposable plastics (bags, utensils, straws) and use reusable options instead
  • Order energy-efficient LED bulbs online to replace your incandescent ones
  • Check with your utility company to see if they provide free energy saving kits
  • Get a filter for your tap water instead of buying bottles
  • Turn off lights and electronics when you leave a room
  • Set your computer to automatically go to sleep when you aren’t using it
  • Wash clothes and dishes only when you have a full load
  • Compost any biodegradable food items in your garden
  • Replace invasive plants in your yard with native versions or wildflowers

Protect the Environment and Help Your Community

While taking action to help protect our environment, you might also be helping your community at the same time. If you save usable clothes or household items for donation instead of throwing them away, you create less waste while also providing for those in need. You can also purchase locally sourced food, which will both reduce emissions from transport vehicles as well as support small businesses that may be experiencing difficulty during the lockdown.

It’s also important to remember that the purpose of Earth Day is not to only conserve and protect our environment for a mere 24-hour span, but to turn these choices into lasting, year-round behaviors. When things eventually return to normal, some of the habits we’ve formed during this period of time may be good to retain, such as working from home and teleconferencing whenever possible and getting items from local small businesses in your immediate area.

Doing Our Part  

At IGS, we believe in celebrating Earth Day every day, which is why we’re proud to offer sustainable energy options to residential customers across the country. We want to help you do your part to go green year-round.

So, if you can, please do your part to protect our environment and support Earth Day. And, don’t forget to visit the official Earth Day website for more historical information, helpful tips, and volunteer resources that will help you help our planet. There’s even an app that will allow you to gather important scientific data from your area.

Happy Earth Day everyone! 

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