What we’re doing to celebrate Earth Day

Happy Earth Day, everyone! In celebration of the day, I thought I’d ask around the office to see what Lee & Low staff members are doing to keep things green, and got some great answers:

“Tonight, I’m going to be unplugging my TV, laptop and phone and curling up with glass of certified organic wine and a good environmentally focused book, either Out of Eden: An Odyssey of Ecological Invasion by Alan Burdick (which I need to finish!) or Elizabeth Kolbert’s Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature and Climate Change (an old favorite).”—Jaclyn DeForge, Educational Sales Associate

“I started using reusable bags a few years ago at the suggestion of my cousin. I found out that the U.S. wastes approximately 100 billion plastic bags every year, so I’ve been using a reusable bag ever since to cut down on waste. The one I have is really convenient too- it folds up to the size of the palm of my hand, so I can just keep it in my purse. It’s prettier than a plastic bag, too!” —Lucy Amon, Marketing & Publicity Assistant

“I am pretty fastidious about making sure that anything I can recycle at home gets recycled or reused (I come from a family whose motto has always been “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without”), but lately I’ve been looking for ways to reduce the amount of trash my house produces, period. I’ve been thinking about how much packaged food I eat, and the trash this produces, even though I’m recycling it. It has made me start to think about ways to plan my meals ahead of time so I can make more food from scratch and use re-usable containers to carry them with. The side benefit of this, of course, is fresher food that’s healthier for me, too.

Seeds of Change cover image
from Seeds of Change

Also, I love that I can use public transportation and my bike in New York City–that I don’t have to rely upon a car and have to maintain it and fill it with gas and oil, all to carry just me.” —Stacy Whitman, Editorial Director, Tu Books

“My family has been composting for about 3 years now. All of our uncooked vegetable scraps and fruit cores and peels go into compost. The reduction in the amount of weekly garbage we produce is signficant. As a result, for a whole house, we only throw away a couple small bags of garbage per week.” —Jason Low, Publisher

“I try to be mindful of all the little things and hope they add up!  Turning off lights when I leave the room (even if only for a few minutes), leaving the AC off or heat down when I’m not home, only running the dishwasher when it’s actually full, using energy efficient light bulbs, reusing everything possible (especially plastic take-out containers … tupperware!), and I almost never use plastic bags, opting instead to put the items in my purse, reusable bag or simply carry them.” —Jenna Bimbi, Senior Educational Sales Associate

As for me, I plan on spending some time over the next week or two reading up on on the state of our oceans, something I still know perilously little about. Education is always a useful thing!

What are you doing to celebrate Earth Day? Have any tips on easy steps you and your family have taken to protect the environment? We’d love to hear them!

And of course, if you’re looking for some good reading this weekend, here are my top three recommendations:

Seeds of Change: Planting a Path to Peace by Jen Cullerton Johnson, illustrated by Sonia Lynn Sadler

Sacred Mountain: Everest, by Christine Taylor-Butler

Cycle of Rice, Cycle of Life: A Story of Sustainable Farming by Jan Reynolds

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