by Megan Richards April 22, 2019 4 min read

 

Tillandsia brachycaulos air plant earth day

Earth Day, founded in 1970, is the culmination of years of hard work by Senator Gaylord Nelson, and was inspired by the protests of the 1960’s. Senator Nelson hoped to raise public awareness about pollution after witnessing the massive 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. He wanted to bring these kinds of issues to the forefront of political agenda, something that had not happened before. In fact, during that same year of 1970, the United States saw the establishment of the EPA, an agency that ensures environmental protection and enforcement.

Before Earth Day and the EPA, dumping toxic waste into waterways, and polluting the air with toxic smoke were not considered illegal, and therefore there was no accountability for these environmental crises. This heightened environmental awareness in 1970 was the catalyst for so many good changes for our environment, such as the Clean Air Act, and is why we celebrate our Earth every year on April 22nd. 

While Earth Day is celebrated just once a year every April, we all can do our part to celebrate our Earth each and every day. Read on to learn about ways that we at Air Plant Design Studio are giving back, and some ways that you too can join in and say a big “Thank You,” to this Earth that we call home.

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Of utmost importance to us at Air Plant Design Studio is to make sure that all the plants are grown with sustainable practices.  While we grow a lot of our own plants, a lot of our mother stock and retail plants come from Guatemala, were they grow naturally. We only import from Tillandsia farms that practice sustainable harvesting. This "sustainably harvested" classification means that these farms aren’t collecting from the wild where some Tillandsia species are endangered, but are in fact, nursery grown. To import specific species into the USA, these growers have to hold certain permits that indicate that they adhere to these sustainability rules. On our end, we also have a CITES import permit that certifies we are permitted to import protected plant species like the Xerographica and Harrisii, both plants that are illegal to harvest from the wild. You can rest assured that when you purchase from us, we are doing our best to make sure that all plants that we sell are sustainably grown, and are not having a harmful impact on Tillandsia populations in the wild. 

Tillandsia xerographica air plant in hands

We are big on recycling as well! All boxes that we receive supplies in, from plants to fertilizer bottles, and everything in between, are taken to our local recycling center. We also use brown paper bags in our packaging to cut down on the use of plastics and unnecessary packing material, like those annoying packing peanuts. When you receive your order, you can reuse or recycle the tissue paper, the packing box, and paper bag.  We aim to apply sustainable and environmentally safe practices to every aspect of our business, big or small!

This approach has even carried over to products that we make in house!  Have you seen our 3d printed geometric holders and pineapple holders? You might not know this, but they are made in house from PLA filament, which is a plant based plastic that is derived from renewable resources such as corn starch and other plant materials, and the best part is that its very biodegradable! Geometric 3D printed Tillandsia holders

Need some ideas of something that you can do to do you part to protect our Earth? Read on!

1. Volunteer! This is a big one. There are numerous Earth friendly organizations that you can spend your time helping. Why not volunteer at your local co-op farm or botanical garden?

2. Switch your bills and invoices to e-bills and e-statements. You can do your part to help save millions of trees annually by just doing this one small thing.

3. Plant a tree. This might sound too simple, but can you imagine the impact if everyone planted just one tree?  We plant trees locally throughout the year as part of our give back.

4. Consider adding a garden to your home. Plant flowers and plants that will attract bees and other pollinators. Install birdhouses, bird feeders, and bird baths. Spend time outside in the sunshine, rather than watching TV or using your phone.

5. Plant flowers and plants to help save the bees. Bees are SO important. They allow us to eat the wonderful array of fruits and vegetables that we love. Bees pollinate apples, cranberries, melons, and broccoli. Blueberries and cherries are 90% dependent on honey bee pollination, and almonds depend entirely on honey bees for their pollination. It's easy to plant some flowers and plants that bees love. Need help choosing? Follow the link for a list of plants that will attract bees to your garden. 

6. Help clean up litter and garbage from your neighborhood and local roads. Get a group together, it won’t take much time if you have a group of people doing the clean up and it can even be fun! 

7. Stop drinking bottled water! We don’t need anymore plastics filling up our landfills and ending up in the ocean! But if you do, make sure to recycle those plastic bottles.  And if you use a lot of straws, make sure to support our friends at Turtle Buddy who make compostable PLA straws.

8. Get outside, take a hike, go for a walk. Just enjoy the sun, the sky, and this beautiful planet that we call home! 

Tillandsia air plants in bloom

How are you going to spend your Earth Day this year? 

Megan Richards
Megan Richards


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