• Earth Day Every Day: Being Environmentally Responsible As A Green Business

by Kathleen Smith May 02, 2019

As someone who is incredibly passionate about the environment, I believe in a future where we all treat EVERY day like Earth Day. At Smiling Tree Toys, we are a green business who makes every effort to ensure our family's business is as environmentally responsible as possible.

If you’re not really sure what Earth Day (or more formally known as International Mother Earth Day) is, then I’m happy to give you a bit of background information about this day. It’s one of the most widely celebrated environmental events across the entire globe. Typically, on April 22, events are held worldwide to increase awareness and appreciation of our Earth’s natural environment.

earth-day

Did you know that Earth Day is celebrated in over 192 countries every single year? Which is incredibly empowering, considering there are only 193 countries in the world.

WHAT IS EARTH DAY ALL ABOUT?

I promise I’m not going to drone on and on about what Earth Day is all about to me and my family (or how we celebrate Earth Day every day because we love the earth!). But rather, generally speaking, Earth Day is all about appreciating the uniqueness of our planet. This day is about celebrating Earth’s biodiversity and opening the floor for discussion on how we should protect our nature (including plants, animals, and the environment).

10 FASCINATING EARTH DAY FACTS

Before I dive into how Smiling Tree Toys makes an effort to be environmentally responsible, I want to give you some fun facts about Earth Day that you may not be familiar with.

  1. After witnessing the aftermath of an oil spill, Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson founded Earth Day.
  2. The selection date of April 22 was a calculated choice to mobilize college students since April 22 typically falls between Spring Break and Final Exams.
  3. On April 22, 1970, more than 20 million people and thousands of local schools and communities participated in the first Earth Day of the United States. The turnout grew countrywide recognition and made the first Earth Day the LARGEST organized celebration in the history of the US.
  4. The United Nations formally renamed Earth Day to International Mother Earth Day in 2009. Sounds suuuuper fancy, right?
  5. Some countries celebrate Earth Week, not just Earth Day.
  6. More than one billion people participate in Earth Day activities yearly. Which makes Earth Day the largest civic observance IN THE WORLD.
  7. The Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Endangered Species Act all exist because of Earth Day.
  8. In 2009, NASA planted a “moon tree” to celebrate Earth Day.
  9. Earth Day’s 50th anniversary is in 2020.
  10. There are (and have been) various themes for Earth Day leading up to the 50th anniversary. A few of our ones we’ve loved: 2014’s theme “Green Cities”, 2016’s theme “Trees for the Earth”, and 2018’s theme of “End Plastic Pollution”!

inheriting-the-earth

HOW YOU CAN EMBRACE EARTH DAY EVERY DAY

Let's embrace Earth Day every day because, well, there’s no a planet B folks! One really easy way to do your small part is to seek out and support brands that are truly earth friendly. Anyone can SAY their business is earth friendly, but how do you know they actually ARE?

We’ve done the research for you. Here are some of our faves:

  • tentree - We love tentree because they literally plant ten trees for every item purchased through their brand. And that’s not all - every tentree item is made using a blend of sustainable fabrics. Learn more about tentree here.
  • Paper Culture - Founded by parents (just like us) Paper Culture is on a mission to deliver modern eco stationery, announcements, and invitations that are created from 100% post-consumer recycled paper. Paper Culture also plants a tree with every order. Learn more about Paper Culture here.
  • Askov Finlayson - To combat climate change Askov Finlayson is dedicated to keeping the north cold through selling various apparel and gear. They’ve set a mission to give 110% of their climate cost in support of leading-edge climate solutions. Learn more about Askov Finlayson here.
  • Hazel & Rose - This is a local business in Minnesota that we absolutely could not leave off of our list. Since fashion has a huge impact on the environment, Hazel & Rose only sells goods that are sustainably and ethically made. Learn more about Hazel & Rose here.

HOW DOES SMILING TREE TOYS MAKE AN EFFORT TO BE ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE?

organic-oil-finish

Through various means, we do our part every day to be environmentally responsible for our Earth. But we’re all about being open, honest, and transparent.

So below is precisely how we make a difference:

ORGANIC FINISH

We use a special blend of organic jojoba oil and pure local beeswax to finish our handmade toys. The oil brings out the beautiful colors and grain patterns in the woods used to make our toys, and the beeswax offers light waterproof protection to ensure the natural beauty of the wood shines through for years to come.

AMERICAN GROWN HARDWOODS

The majority of our toys are made from American grown, sustainably harvested solid hardwoods. This also means that all our woods are transported within the US and nothing is imported. Whenever possible, we source certified sustainable American hardwoods.

CONSCIOUS CONSUMERISM

We intentionally source high quality, American-grown wood and other materials to create exceptionally made, long-lasting heirloom toys that won't break or wear out. Less is more.

COTTON BAGS

The bags used to store and gift our toys and games are produced from pesticide free, American-grown cotton. And they’re made by a family-owned business {Celestial Gifts} like ours as well!

PACKAGING & SHIPPING

Nearly all of the packaging and shipping materials we use are both biodegradable and recyclable. We never include printed packing slips or receipts in packages in order to conserve paper. (All receipts are electronic.)

SMILING TREE CHARITABLE PROJECTS

Moringa Trees project

At Smiling Tree Toys, we’ve made a serious effort to give back to communities and the world in various ways. During our Moringa Trees project we distributed 4,050 Moringa trees to 87 rural schools, almost all of which were elementary schools. Training was also provided to community leaders in many of the participating towns. They learned about the health benefits of Moringa trees, how to care for the plants, and how to sell the seeds to a local company for a small profit (which will be used to purchase supplies for the schools).

NATIVE POLLINATOR HABITAT

We love bees and butterflies, and (most) all things creepy and crawly.  So we’ve devoted 2 of our 13 acres at Smiling Tree Toys exclusively to growing native grasses and flowers that enable pollinating insects to do just as nature intended.  This little plot of land is on its way to becoming the native prairie landscape that once covered most of southern Minnesota, and we’re excited to offer a safe, nectar-filled haven to a variety of insects.

BEING A GREEN COMPANY

green-living

Being a green company isn't just a matter of following a list of eco-friendly practices, it's a way of life. A never ending, ongoing process. We're always on the lookout for ways we can further minimize our eco-footprint and give back to Mother Nature.

Once you start taking actions to be more eco-friendly, it really isn’t that difficult to keep the momentum going. Turns out “ it IS easy being green!” (Sorry, Kermit the Frog, we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one.) Thanks for supporting our family in our mission to care for both the Earth and its children!

How are YOU going to ensure you’re treating every day like Earth Day? What are you going to do to make a difference for our earth? I’d love to know. Come connect with me on Instagram and let’s inspire our community to go green (@smilingtreetoys).



Kathleen Smith
Kathleen Smith

Author



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