Every year, around the world, Earth Day is celebrated on April 22. This event is marked by global efforts to raise awareness about the environmental concerns of our time, from climate change to plastics filling the oceans, and everything in between. This April, we extended that celebration to fill the entire calendar and could not have had such a successful Earth Month without our community partners.
Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District (CVSWMD) partnered with us on April 27 to present Sustainability Saturday, a day focused on how members of the community can reduce, reuse and recycle.
The day included a book and clothing swap, where people could drop off or swap used books and clothing. Many folks took with them new treasures to enjoy, items which will end up in a new home rather than a landfill.
CVSWMD took away one giant box (equal to one cubic yard) of clothing and a second one filled with books. The clothes went to Goodwill in Williston, to be donated through donation programs, recycled as rag stock, or sold in their shops. The books are sometime sold for reuse through the bulk book buying market, or they are shredded and pulped to be recycled into new paper products by Northstar Pulp & Paper in MA.
There was also battery and cell phone recycling, leading to eight gallons of batteries and 2.5 gallons of cell phones or small electronics being taken away for recycling. The batteries will be recycled by Call2Recycle, with the metals processed, separated, and recaptured as usable raw materials. Small electronics will be sent to various markets in VT, OHJ, MT, and CA, depending on what they are, for reuse, refurb, or recycling into raw component parts.
During the day, our Featured Community Partner, North Branch Nature Center, was here tabling, and we matched all of the Give Change donations made on that day. The total amount collected over the entire month for North Branch is $1,018.05. Many thanks to all of our community members who rounded up their purchase or otherwise donated at the register.
CVSWMD presented two workshops in our community room. One was on compost, the other on recycling, and they were attended by a total of 31 people. You can watch the video of the composting workshop via ORCA Media, on their YouTube page here.
We’d like to thank all of the local environmental organizations who also presented workshops during Earth Month, including The Nature Conservancy, Vermont River Conservancy, Friends of the Winooski River, Vermont Natural Resources Council, Catamount Solar, Community Harvest of Central Vermont, Vermont Fresh Network, Montpelier Vineyards, Vermont Land Trust, and North Branch Nature Center.
It was exciting to bring these workshops to our community. A total of 95 people attended the environmentally-themed programs and learned about a range of topics including the American Elm, Montpelier and its rivers, the current state of energy in Vermont, Vermont-grown grapes and wines, gleaning, living off the grid, and more.
During Earth Month, we also put the focus on our bulk department, a great place to shop in an economically and environmentally friendly way. Bulk sales took place daily, as well as on Sustainability Saturday, and we sold 1,500 pounds of bulk food over the month. That’s a lot of packaging saved.
Of course, our sustainability initiatives and efforts to reduce waste and our overall impact take place every single day. Read more about everything we’re doing. Our customers can also join in the effort by going green every time they shop. There are also numerous products on our shelves that are environmentally and ecologically friendly, check out our Green Team’s list here.
Thank you to everyone who participated in Earth Month and thanks for everything you do to protect our natural community every day.