Plastics vs. Planet:  Celebrating Earth Day!

Plastics vs. Planet: Celebrating Earth Day!

In 1970, amidst a burgeoning environmental movement in the United States, Earth Day was born. The US had invaded Vietnam and young people were protesting across the country, Rachel Carson had published "Silent Spring" and sold half a million copies world wide, and Americans were becoming more aware of the negative impacts of industry and war on their beloved ecosystems. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin (D), spurred by a devastating oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara, California, envisioned a day dedicated to raising awareness about environmental issues.

On April 22nd of that year, millions of people across the nation took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment. This collective action sparked a wave of environmental consciousness, leading to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of landmark environmental laws such as the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act.

Now, more than five decades later, Earth Day has evolved into a global phenomenon, with over 190 countries participating in activities aimed at protecting the planet. Each year, Earth Day is marked by a specific theme that highlights pressing environmental issues, and for 2024, the theme is "Plastic vs. Planet."

Plastic pollution has emerged as one of the most significant environmental challenges of our generation. Every year, millions of tons of plastic waste end up in our oceans, rivers, and landfills, wreaking havoc on ecosystems and posing a threat to wildlife. From microplastics contaminating our water sources to plastic debris clogging our beaches, the impact of plastic pollution is undeniable.

The "Plastic vs. Planet" theme for Earth Day 2024 serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need to address this crisis. It calls attention to the destructive consequences of our reliance on single-use plastics and the importance of adopting more sustainable alternatives. From reducing plastic consumption and promoting recycling to advocating for policies that limit plastic production and encourage innovation in packaging design, there are countless ways individuals, communities, and governments can contribute to the fight against plastic pollution.

The art world is no exception. Acrylic paints, a petroleum-based paint, is the most widely used paint in the world. Most art supplies come packaged in thin, unrecyclable single-use plastics, and then final artworks are shipped globally wrapped in plastic bubble wrap, print sleeves, and with plastic tube end caps that pollute our landscapes and oceans. We can do better.

At Sage Leaf Studio, we are eliminating single-use plastic use at every level of art creation. We source plastic-free paints, papers, brushes, and recycled or biodegradable packaging to ensure that our impact on the planet this Earth Day is as plastic-free as possible. You can do your part too by transitioning your art practice to plastic-free and purchasing art works that do not come delivered in single-use plastics. It's not hard, and it doesn't cost more than the plastic versions. Learn more here.

As we commemorate Earth Day this year, let's remember the origins of this movement and recommit to protecting our planet for other species and future generations. By embracing the "Plastic vs. Planet" theme and taking meaningful action to reduce plastic waste, we can work towards a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable world for all, one painting at a time.


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