Today is Earth Day. Once a year the world comes together to celebrate Earth Day to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First celebrated in 1970, Earth Day has become a major event on April 22 each year. Today our social media inboxes are inundated with pictures of the earth and celebrations of earth day. While social media and the internet have helped to expand awareness around Earth Day, one has to wonder if this is what was intended by those who celebrated the first one. This Earth Day, consider making a commitment to make every day Earth Day. Use this annual event to remind us of the importance of taking care of our planet every day.
One of our seven core values is Practice Sustainability. Practicing sustainability isn’t easy. But to us it means we make decisions about what we buy, the programs we run, the transport with sustainability in mind. In December of 2017, we installed an Elkay water fountain at our climbing gym. We have provided free water to anyone who needs it since we opened in 2002 but wanted to have a way to measure our impact and show our community what their impact was as well. In the 16 months since we installed the water fountain, our community has filled their own water bottles 27,280 times. That’s the same number of bottles kept out of landfills, oceans, and rivers. We have also installed a waterless urinal to conserve water. While there is no water shortage in Chiang Mai, why wait? If there is a product that uses less water, we use it and hope that it sends a message of sustainability to our broader community. To help shift the consciousness of our organization, we have even instituted an environment tax for our team. THB 100 for every straw, plastic bag and plastic cup brought into our organization by an employee. It helps guide us and give us a reminder.
Sometimes we are really good at it and sometimes we falter, but each day we remind ourselves that it is our responsibility every day to reduce single-use plastics, carry reusable food boxes with us even for leftovers, avoid straws, walk or ride instead of drive, carpool, turn on a fan and not the AC, and get outside to play in the wilderness to remind us how lucky we are to be able to Live Adventure. So rather than offer an Earth Day promotion or contest, we challenge you to make every day Earth Day so that together we can build a more sustainable future.