“The environment is where we all meet; where we all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share.”
—Lady Bird Johnson
There has been strong ecological awareness in these lands since before the first Europeans arrived. Thereafter, a vibrant and dedicated roster of naturalists made it their life’s work to extoll the beauty and importance of the world around them to any who would listen. At times this was very solitary work. But by the mid 1800s, organizations dedicated to preserving the environment began to form.
A seed is planted
A collective social consciousness about the environment grew over the years, really picking up steam in the early 1960s. Eventually, a catastrophic oil spill off the coast of California in January, 1969, prompted Sen. Gaylord Nelson (D-WI) to propose a national “teach-in” for college campuses aimed at raising environmental awareness. With strong bipartisan backing, the idea grew and eventually the date, and the name, were set; April 22, 1970—Earth Day.
It’s estimated the first Earth Day saw 20 million U.S. residents (fully 10% of the country’s population at the time) of all backgrounds participate in various observances. In response to such strong support the U.S. government began enacting meaningful legislation, addressing major environmental issues. This included the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and passage of the Clean Air Act. Within a couple of years other equally important legislation followed.
Decades of healthy growth
As it turns out, naming an event originally planned for U.S. college campuses “Earth Day” had an unexpected bonus; it got the attention of many of the residents of… the Earth.
In 1990 the movement truly went global, being celebrated in 141 countries and involving 200 million people. The year 2000 saw Earth Day begin leveraging the digital age to get the message out. Today, Earth Day has 75,000 partners and engages over 1 billion people in 192 countries.
Originally concerned with the effects of pollution, the movement evolved to encompass all aspects of environmental stewardship. In addition to greatly reducing the toxicity of manufacturing and its byproducts, the globalization of the movement is largely responsible for municipal recycling initiatives around the world.
Not the least we can do
SG360° is proud to do everything we can to contribute to a healthy and thriving environment.
We promote and support socially and environmentally responsible forestry practices by earning certifications from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). These organizations work tirelessly to make sure there will always be healthy forests for everyone to enjoy.
But responsible paper procurement is just part of the picture.
A sustainable business (re)cycle
SG360° also actively pursues initiatives to reduce consumption of various energy sources and minimize our wastewater and greenhouse gas emissions. All of these efforts are in compliance with the appropriate state, county, and municipal regulating agencies and are reported to same.
We practice vigorous waste minimization procedures on multiple fronts. First, by stressing quality and accuracy in everything we do. Mistakes generate waste so we can get a leg up on reducing our output by eliminating errors. Then, working closely with a local business, we send more than 90% of our daily manufacturing waste to be recycled. This includes:
- Plastic wrappings
- And additional items
The total weights involved run into the tens of millions of pounds annually. For a more detailed picture, check out our 2020 Sustainability Report.
Most of these materials reappear in the world at large as other paper products like tissue and paper bags. The recycled metals and plastics are reborn as aluminum cans and bottles… even window blinds.
Just as important as what we send away to be recycled is what recycled products we use to print with. Many of the papers we use are partially recycled to various degrees and print with recycled black printer’s ink.
Rooted in responsibility
We owe a debt of gratitude to the men and women throughout history who have made concern for our shared environment their life’s passion. Such a huge issue can easily intimidate the individual, giving them pause as they wonder what difference one person can make. But if history is any kind of teacher, its most important lesson is: together we can do anything.
As noted cultural anthropologist Margret Mead once observed:
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Happy Earth Day, 2021, from all of us at SG360°.