Populum volunteers at local park for Earth Day
by Ivy Oakes
Ivy Oakes is the Director of Customer Service at Populum. She works with our customers to ensure they are happy with our flexible subscription program and she helps first-time buyers decide if CBD is right for them! She is also an advocate for environmental preservation, and passionate about anti-plastic consumption.
At Populum we believe it is important to make time for volunteering for team-building and to build a connection within our community. During the winter months and quarantine, we focused on sending letters to veterans to share our love and support for those who worked so hard to keep us safe as Americans. We are forever grateful for our veterans!
With Earth Month ahead of us and the winter months behind us, we were thrilled to get back into the community with one of our favorite organizations, VIP Volunteer in the Parks. Earlier this month, we raked over 11 bags of leaves, picked up litter, swept and cleared the paths free of leaves and debris at the Gerald R. Ford Birthsite and Gardens.
My Passion For The Environment
I am personally passionate about this month’s volunteer efforts for a couple of reasons. First, April is celebrated as Earth Month, and April 22 is celebrated as Earth Day! Although, shouldn’t every day be celebrated as Earth Day?
While I have always been passionate about environmental preservation, my friend, Julie Sommer, has inspired me to take my passion and turn it into action.
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Julie is working to raise awareness in our community of the effects of plastic pollution in all stages of its “life-cycle” and how it affects the entire planet. Through Julie’s work as an Ambassador with eXXpedition, a not-for-profit organization that investigates the causes of and solutions to ocean plastic pollution, I have been inspired to do better in my use of single-use plastics and non-recyclable plastics.
Previous scientific research has highlighted the endemic nature of microplastics within our ocean environments globally. eXXpedition’s focus is to advance a better understanding of the plastics issue as a whole and to work with individuals and industries to pinpoint solutions and policy at a global level by addressing knowledge gaps and delivering evidence to inform effective solutions.
From Julie, I learned about the Hefty Energy Bag Program. Although the Hefty Energy Bag is not a perfect solution, it is a better resource to dispose of hard to recycle plastics that otherwise should not end up in the landfill. Depending on your local waste management program, the Hefty Energy Bag makes it easy to collect hard to recycle plastics curbside and to convert them into valued resources.
These contents from the orange bags become energy resources and replace some of the coal that fuels the kilns used in cement manufacturing. In a few areas, they are converted to fuels, like diesel, via a process called pyrolysis.
We used the Hefty orange energy bag to gather plastics found at the park during Populum’s volunteer day at Gerald Ford Birthsite and Gardens. Afterward, I helped submit the types of plastic we found into a Marine Debris Tracker. Julie and her crew members will then use this information for their research.
How You Can Celebrate Earth Month
Populum's volunteer efforts at the Gerald Ford Park is just one way you can celebrate Earth Day, but there are endless opportunities for each of us to continue to make every day Earth Day. Here are a few examples:
Find your local parks program and see if they are planning any community events.
Coordinate your own neighborhood event or community clean-up.
Adopt a street or highway in your local community.
Find out more about your local energy bag program.
Find a park and soak in what mother earth has to offer.
Find your favorite tree and give it some love.