Earth Month Events Across Acadiana

With all of the springtime events ramping up and Easter weekend just ahead of us, it's strange to think that Earth Month is only three days away. Of course it's one of my favorite times of year, between the environment-related events, decent Louisiana weather and abundance of things to do in the community.

Whether you live in South Louisiana or not, there are sure to be Earth Month events happening near you. Mark your calendar so you don't miss out on the fun!


Starbucks' Quest for a Greener Coffee Cup?

One morning last week, as I was trying to get out of bed and ready for work, I heard on KATC's Good Morning Acadiana that Starbucks was pledging $10 million to develop a recyclable and compostable coffee cup to combat the waste it produces. Even while still a quarter asleep, I cheered as the morning show anchors were all, "Just use your own!" and they both held up their stainless steel coffee cups. You go, Tracy and Dave!

I keep thinking about Starbucks' "effort" and how it really misses the point entirely. Many waste reduction groups and bloggers have covered how this is a classic example of greenwashing - making you think something is more sustainable than it actually is.


Photo Friday | Leaders Against Litter and Earth Hour

The spirit of Earth Month events are really kicking up already, even if there's still a full week left of March. Today was Keep Louisiana Beautiful's annual Leaders Against Litter statewide cleanup, and tomorrow marks the annual Earth Hour event at 8:30 p.m. in your local time zone.


World Water Day 2018 | Water + Nature

Every year on March 22, the United Nations celebrates World Water Day. This year's focus is on water and nature, exploring how nature can provide us solutions to tackle crises like floods, droughts and water pollution.
Graphic provided by World Water Day


Going Green in Style with Paperless Post

When it comes to receiving holiday cards and party invitations in the mail, you typically think of a physical envelope in your mailbox. But you can still send your friends and family a beautiful and exciting card or invitation while still maintaining the spirit of reducing paper waste - enter Paperless Post!


Photo Friday | Crawfish Boils

Here in Louisiana, tis the season for numerous backyard, family/friend gathering crawfish boils. The beer is cold, the tails are hot, and the waste can sometimes fill multiple trash cans.

But with a few key items, you can very easily transform your crawfish boil into one that produces a lot less waste.


Eco-Friendly Easter Alternatives

It's an interesting year for holidays, with Valentine's Day coinciding with Ash Wednesday and Easter falling on April Fool's Day. I keep forgetting that Easter is actually only two weeks away. For us, Easter mostly consists of family gatherings, church and boiled crawfish. If I could even tell you how much I am looking forward to some crawfish...

If you've got younger children, your Easter probably consists of baskets, treats and dyeing eggs. All things I loved as a child!

It's not hard these days to make Easter activities a little more sustainable and eco-friendly, thanks to natural egg-dyeing methods and reusable gifts and decorating options.


Photo Friday | Spring-ish

The first full week of March is coming to a close, and I, for one, am very ready for the weekend! The past two weeks have been a small rollercoaster, including in the weather. For all my Northeast friends, I hope y'all are staying warm and safe!

Springtime has been in full force down in Louisiana, even with the temp swings. While I love the blooming flowers everywhere, I don't love the accompanying yard work and mulch projects (y'all).

I am looking forward to the time changing this weekend so I can start going for bike rides around the neighborhood after work!

Yesterday was International Women's Day, and I loved seeing all of the empowerment and camaraderie on social media. There's so much to say, and I kept it simple as I shared on Instagram, "Here’s to resilience, persistence, confidence, and climbing the damn mountains."

Let's keep lifting others up and working together every day! A little support goes a long way.

To all of my blogger friends, activists I admire, family, friends, professional colleagues, and coworkers, I wish you all courage to pursue your dreams and confidence in your day-to-day lives.

Two years ago, I shared a roundup of a few of my favorite environmental women, so check that post out here!

My newest Times of Acadiana column was published yesterday on a subject that's become one of my little soapboxes - the problem of balloon releases and balloon pollution. In my column, I share a few alternatives to balloon releases, one of which is to plant flowers or a tree in honor of a legacy. Head on over to Times of Acadiana's website, or pick up a paper locally to read the rest of the column!

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Green Business Spotlight | EarthHero

As I've written about before, shopping sustainably online can be a little overwhelming. But when there are websites that serve as eco-friendly marketplaces, it makes shopping a LOT easier.

EarthHero is one such great marketplace, selling everything from clothing to home goods to pet products to beauty and personal care. They're a great place for people just starting out on a zero-waste or sustainable journey, because you can pick up all the essentials at once.

EarthHero works with different sustainable brands and carries items that follow strict standards. Each item carried on the site has corresponding icons to tell you exactly how the item is eco-friendly.

So what I did order for my first EarthHero purchase? A pair of shorts and beeswax food wraps, naturally!

Photo Friday | Ways to Make Your Home Environmentally Friendly

One of my life goals is to live in a truly sustainable, eco-friendly, energy-efficient home. While that goal might be many years away from happening, there are still budget-friendly steps I can take to make our current home a little more sustainable.

When I heard that furniture and home decor company Arhaus was looking for a few ideas on greening homes, I thought about some of the things we've done at home and some of the things I've shared on the blog before. Arhaus has a partnership with American Forests that enables them to plant a tree for every purchase made during their storewide sale. And a commitment to planting trees is especially timely with International Day of Forests coming up on March 21! I appreciate when companies pledge to give back year-round.

In addition to these tips, some other ways to go greener at home are to:
  • Furnish your home with a combination of sustainable items (like some of these tables from Arhaus) and secondhand, thrifted or family heirloom items.
  • Switch out your current light bulbs with energy-saving LED bulbs.
  • Donate or sell the things you no longer need or want, instead of just throwing them away.
  • Repurpose stained or torn t-shirts as cleaning rags.
  • Place a recycling bin next to your trash can inside your house, to make it as simple as possible to recycle.

What are some ways you've made your home more eco-friendly?

Green Around Acadiana | UL Lafayette Solar Lab

Over the past few months, five acres of land have been transforming into something unique for Lafayette. Just off Cajundome Boulevard and Eraste Landry, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette has been building a 1.1 megawatt solar panel farm and research lab as part of its Research Park.

Construction is very near completion, and the lab is expecting to begin operating this month.

Photo credit: Simon Mahan
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