Happy belated Earth Day! Earth Day should be everyday, so the conversation isn't over yet!
I hope you felt inspired this past Saturday and took some action for sustainability.
Maybe you caught our post about ways you can join the conversation around Earth Day and our recommendations for taking action on your marketing?
Well, this month, we're taking our own advice! I've taken stock of how Promosaurus and our personal habits stack up against the actions we recommended in the post. In the spirit of authenticity and transparency, here's how we've done since Earth Day 2022! 😅
1. Show your dedication to resolving environmental issues related to the work you do!
I've been thrilled to work with some fabulous clients whose environmentally-focused organizations are having real, positive sustainability impacts, including: Sustainability Network, International Animal Rescue, The Refill Bar, Transport Futures, RAX, Insekt Skincare, Woven Threads, Irene Szabo, Garforth International, Saponetti, EcoWool, and Noki Farms.
Promosaurus also regularly donates to organizations with strong environmental missions. Some of these donations have been made as rewards for referrals. Together, since last Earth Day, we donated a total of $2,331 to the following orgs: Green Party of Ontario, Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre, FLAP, CPAWS Nova Scotia, International Animal Rescue (through fundraising for Cakes for Apes with Orangutan Calling), David Suzuki Foundation, Greenpeace, and Guelph Humane Society.
In a more unconventional donation, I've also been saving up the hair from my hairbrush and trims - and the cat's brush too - to send to Matter of Trust, which uses the waste fibers to create special mats for cleaning up oil spills!
On a related note, we are members of Canadian Environmental Network, Organic Council of Ontario, 10C Shared Space, and Ontario Cooperative Association. Being a member helps to support these organizations in growing sustainable industries and increase their impact.
2. Share a sustainability victory you've had in 2023!
Sustainability is a way of life for me and I'm always looking for new ways to work it into my day-to-day actions, from little details to bigger lifestyle changes, so it's hard to track or count! But, here are a few recent victories:
I've started repairing worn and damaged clothing rather than replacing it, turning old pieces into new creations. It's fun, and I've improved my sewing skills as I go! I've even volunteered twice at the Guelph Tool Library's Repair Cafe, helping to fix the old clothes of others. 🧵
From old hoodies to bold goodies! Blue jeans to new jeans! 🌟
Peter and I love kayaking on the Speed River and turn our regular paddling trips into river cleanup opportunities. We even bring along one of those extendable grabber-arms - like the ones T-rex uses to become unstoppable! 🛶
Just a typical day on the river... 😨
Things got a bit out of hand once when I combined these two hobbies by rescuing a discarded sweater from the water, cleaning and fixing it up, and then transforming it from soggy trashin' to custom fashion! 🤣
I try to reduce waste at home, too. (What am I saying, "try?" I'm obsessed.) I have two garden composters going, collect and reuse glass bottles for Circulr and the Guelph "Before It Hits the Landfill" Group, refill shampoo and other soap bottles, bring glass food containers or use Friendlier containers as often as possible when I order takeout, return egg cartons to the farmer's market, use reusable wax cloth instead of cling wrap, and buy my pantry groceries in bulk. 🚯
As a nod to my love of wildlife, I also recently put up a bird feeder outside my office! I've so far seen one female cardinal munching away, and hope others figure it out soon!
Our new office "lunch room" 🐦
Lastly, as a bigger lifestyle change, I've been struggling to reduce my meat consumption. (Did you know that the greenhouse gas emissions for meat production are 10-50 times as much as that for plant foods?) Peter's a full vegetarian (how does he do it?!), but I'm finding that long-standing eating habits are a difficult thing to change! Some change is better than no change though, so I've started by going veg three days a week. Wish me luck!! 🥑🥜🥦
3. Identify one area your organization can improve, and pledge to make a measurable improvement!
I'm pledging to shift my financial activity, including Promosaurus' accounts, from the major commercial bank we're currently with to a more responsible credit union. RBC is a key investor in the fossil fuels industry, and I would much rather put my money behind an organization that makes more responsible investments. So far, Van City is looking like a good option!
This is a big decision that requires a lot of research and consideration, but I'm working to make this one of my next sustainability victories for 2023!
4. Take some time to learn more about the environment and share what you learn!
I'm listening to two environmental podcasts: Can Marketing Save the Planet, and The Circular Economy Podcast, and planning to check out Climate Rising. In Can Marketing Save the Planet, Seth Godin was a special guest and I loved that he said 'if marketing can't save the planet, then nothing can.' I will be doing a whole post about this soon, so stay tuned for that!
I'm reading the New Rules of Green Marketing by Jacquelyn Ottman, and Community Based Social Marketing by Doug McKenzie-Morh, and just picked up David Suzuki's The Sacred Balance from a thrift shop (it's a signed copy!). CBSM was a big influence on my communications strategy when I was working to increase recycling rates at the University of Guelph in the early 2000s.
A couple documentaries I recently watched include NPR + Frontline's Plastic Wars, and Going Circular. Both amazing and eye-opening. Plastic Wars showed that the plastics industry has been supporting recycling programs as a way of justifying their industry, while Going Circular showed that that an entirely new economy is being developed to circulate resources for longer, reducing our consumption of raw resources and preventing waste. I highly recommend them both!
So, how did Promosaurus do from Earth Day to Earth Day?
Thanks for reading and for your interest in our sustainability journey at Promosaurus! If you'd like to see some photos of Peter and I picking garbage or of the sweater that got a new life, pls check out Saturday's post!
I'm incredibly happy that we have been able to support so many social enterprises focused on solving our environmental challenges since Promosaurus began in 2019! I'm also very proud of the donations we made over the last year. I love my earth-friendly hobbies and will definitely keep those going, and am feeling really good about my progress with eating less meat! Switching banks will be a fairly big endeavor but now that I've told you all that I'm doing it, it has to get done, doesn't it!! haha. Sometimes it's hard to spend time learning about this stuff after working all day, but I'm trying to dedicate a bit of time each day to continuous learning!
The thing about sustainability is that taking actions is a really effective way to feel better about the state of the world! It eases my climate anxiety, and reduces my shame for contributing to the problems. If the issues have been weighing on you, consider what changes you're able to make in your life or organization, and let me know how it goes!!
Sustainability isn't just something we latched onto as a way to make money in business. It's something that we are seriously dedicated to and think about daily. We aren't perfect at it, but something I learned in my early days of environmental activism is that being an environmentalist is going to include an inherent amount of contradictions. The most constructive thing that can be done about it is to embrace it, and keep on going!
- Julianna :)
Chief Dinosaur Wrangler/Environmental Marketing Strategist
(PS. I would love more than anything to help tell your sustainability story to your audience! Please get in touch if you would like to discuss!)
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