Earth Day 2021: Individual Initiatives for a Healthier Planet

Honoring the health and wellbeing of people and the planet through sustainable actions from our homes.

    Earth Day is an annual reminder of humanity's responsibility for the health and wellness of our planet. Earth Day 2021's theme is "Restore our Earth," and we believe that no effort is too small in this significant mission. We’ve asked our team to share stories about how they are honoring the environment in their own lives. Here are some of the eco-conscious actions and insights that Bergies are taking at home!

    Tricia Pignataro:

    I often think about how much of my furniture is second-hand or thrifted (my husband is a Craigslist genius). We’ve been able to furnish nearly our whole apartment with nice furniture via some online hunting and a large SUV.

    Curious to know just how much of it is pre-owned, I finally color-coded a furniture plan for a nice visual (my thrifted furniture is highlighted in green as opposed to the new stuff that’s in blue).

    I was surprised and also a little proud of how much of it ended up being! I also came across some more information on furniture waste, and I’m betting we’ll hear about “fast furniture” soon like fast fashion.

    Jess Smith:
    My town has annual water bans in the summer, so I finally bought rain barrels to water my flowers this year. I’m also replacing the little grass I have with brick and gravel to reduce my water use.

    Brian Fontaine:
    My wife, Krissy, and I are growing our garden from seedlings. We have planted multiple varieties of tomatoes, peppers, herbs, and more. Our ultimate hope is to be overflowing with veggies and get to share some with our neighbors.

    Casey Brownell:
    I have been getting food from local vendors, such as this CSA Spring Pantry box from Siena Farms and meats from the Walden Meat Share. I am also focusing on other initiatives such as:

    • Composting
    • Reducing our household waste
    • Carefully screening and selecting the materials and products my family and I use (I always look for natural materials over petroleum and overly processed options). Some of the products and clothing that I trust and recommend are:
      * Meow Meow Tweet beauty products for their natural ingredients and plastic-free containers
      * Youth to the People for their social justice, clean formulas, options of plastic-free containers, and products that can be refilled.
      * I adore the Amour Vert clothing brand. They have compostable packaging, plant trees for purchases, and develop their own natural fibers/ fabrics. I like how they think about the full life cycle of a garment.

    I would also like to start a garden of my own in my new backyard and grow some herbs and vegetables. I'm also looking into potentially getting solar panels for my home.

    Adi Mueller:
    When I moved into my new apartment this year, I wanted to set myself up to be successful in my sustainability goals. The biggest change I made was buying “UNpaper towels” – basically paper towel-shaped cotton towels that you can just wash instead of throwing away. While it was definitely an adjustment, I’m happy to report I only had to buy ONE roll of paper towels all year!

    I’ve also worked to reduce my food waste and eat more locally. I’ve been using Black Earth Compost for about two years now, and this year I signed up for Boston Organics which delivers local groceries right to your door. Super helpful, especially over the last year. With that, I’ve also made it a point to stop by my neighborhood Community Fridge dropping off any surplus veggies from Boston Organics – it’s all about being full circle!

    Lisa Statkiewicz:
    I started growing fruit and vegetables in a raised garden beds three years ago and love having access to organic produce in my yard. Every year I grow my own vegetables, blueberries, and strawberries so I can have organic produce without pesticides.