earth day, recycled

adam asked some of our staff at ys to report what we’re doing in our homes to try to be more environmentally friendly, and pulled some of those responses together into a post, which i’ll just copy here (’cause i think it’s cool):

At Youth Specialties, we lean into our company principles. The first one is, “Youth Specialties will be a good steward of what God has entrusted to us, recognizing that this company is a gift from Him.” On first read that might not seem like a tie-in to Earth Day. But in many practical ways we see part of our stewardship of the company is to help ensure that we do little things that can make a big impact on the world we live in.

Of course, this stewardship attitude also carries over into our personal lives. Living in the San Diego area, a coastal community in Southern California, means that recycling, water conservation, and car emissions are a very big deal. It isn’t hard to see the connection between our actions and the immediate impact on the fragile place we love to live. Last week, I asked my co-workers if they would share new things that they are doing in 2009 in their households to lessen their negative impact on our environment. Here are some of the responses:

Dave Palmer– VP of Marketing

My family has been fine with one car in the past year – mildly inconvenienced, but nothing horrible, and aside from the massive expense a new car would bring, driving something older and reliable means that the emissions from a new car won’t reach the atmosphere. We’ve also ratcheted up our recycling, and not just our trash, but in looking for second, third and fourth lives for our stuff. We find homes for kids’ clothes and old furniture with friends, and have been dabbling with freecycle as not only as a way to find things and homes for things, but to meet other people obviously interested in the concept. Either that or I’m just cheap.

We also try our best to monitor energy usage – leaving heat & ac off as much as possible, unplugging stuff that isn’t in use like a toaster, a microwave, and power strips that serve multiple appliances. my wife is way better than I am at remembering cloth bags for trips to the store, and we’re trying to leave one in the car trunk at all times.

Susie Anders– Keeper of the Books

This year my family has replaced ALL our incandescent bulbs with CFL bulbs in both the house we are selling and the house we live in! We have switched to cloth diapers to reduce the impact of disposable diapers on the landfill. We purchased additional trash cans to be able to separate the recyclables paper/cardboard from the trash (we already separate cans & bottles). We also use a countertop filter for our drinking & cooking water to reduce the use of plastic bottles.

Roni Meek– Managing Editor

I feel passionately about preserving our planet. I have several earth friendly practices in place that have become second nature in our home. Several examples are using earth friendly cleaning products, using cloth napkins (even in school lunches), decreasing the amount of “disposable” products we use, and growing a vegetable garden every summer.

Brittany Marsh– Customer Service

This year I have been purchasing all of my produce through local farmers who practice environmentally friendly farming.

Marko– President

We moved to a smaller house to reduce our costs and footprint. I sold my car and skateboard/take the train to work. We buy produce from an organic farm co-op weekly. We bought a lo-energy washer/dryer. Most lights are now fluorescent. Oh, and yeah, we separate the recyclables. I’ll admit, while I like doing all this stuff, my wife and kids take the lead on it (of course, I’m the one taking the train to work).

Adam McLane– Online Community Dude

Our new house doesn’t have automatic sprinklers so now we water as needed as opposed to watering by schedule. Also, we’ve been very conscious to replace light bulbs with those fancy compact flourescent deals. We bought these really cool bins which help the kids get involved in seperating recycleables. Like Dave and Marko we’re proudly a one car family. To cut down on the amount of driving and running around we do I’ve recently started taking the trolley.

What about you? What are you doing in your household and ministry to be a great steward of God’s creation? Share a comment! We’d love to celebrate with you and share ideas.

5 thoughts on “earth day, recycled”

  1. With just my wife and I we do one car fairly easily. With the weather improving I’ve started walking to work so somedays the car doesn’t get used at all. We recycle and plant a garden to grow our own food and have enough to share with neighbors.

  2. We recycle everything we can, including clothes that have holes, stains, etc. Jeff bikes to work a few days a week, I walk to work when I can. When we have to have the heat on, we keep it set at 68, and we turn it off as soon as we can. Last year, we installed new Energy Star ceiling fans in 2 rooms of the house, which really helped us cut back on the AC last summer. We recently started composting, which not only allows nutrients to go back into the earth (instead of sitting in a garbage bag or in the sewer system), it has dramatically cut the use of our garbage disposal, saving energy and water. Most of our lights are CFLs (have been for a long time). And we eat a mostly vegetarian diet.

  3. We have two cars, both are SUV’s. We have a terrible habit of leaving the lights on, none of which are flourescent. We have recycle bins but consistently forget to utilize them properly. I’m not even sure what a carbon footprint is, but the one our family is leaving must be massive. The Johnston’s could possibly be the largest contributors to global warming! Knowing you have a problem is the first step, right?

  4. hmmmm… wow, us kiwis have a reputation for being clean and green – but sheesh. oh well. I live on tank water & use as little as possible. most bulbs are power-saving, recycling is second nature. and most importantly, we try and print as little as possible in the offer, always supplying eco-certified options to clients.

  5. Even better than recycling; Save money and the Earth and be clean at the same time…yes! Get serious and add Bathroom Bidet Sprayers to all your bathrooms. Available at with these you won’t even need toilet paper any more, just a towel to dry off! It’s cheap and can be installed without a plumber; and runs off the same water line to your toilet. You’ll probably pay for it in a few months of toilet paper savings. And after using one of these you won’t know how you lasted all those years with wadded up handfuls of toilet paper. Now we’re talking green and helping the environment without any pain. As for water use a drought is always a concern and must be dealt with prudently but please remember that in the big picture the industrial water users always far exceed the water use of household users and in the case of toilet paper manufacture it is huge. The pollution and significant power use from that manufacturing process also contributes to global warming so switching to a hand bidet sprayer and lowering your toilet paper use is very green in multiple ways.

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