And just like that, another Earth Month has flown by.  Each week we shared new finds and interesting events that we hope you enjoyed.  Sustainability practices are at the core of who we are at New Morning Market and Earth Month is a time we get really excited about.  Even if a lot of this month’s themes are something that we like to incorporate into our day to day lives anyway, it doesn’t mean that we can’t learn more!

I kicked off this year’s Earth Month much like I always do, cleaning up trash around town on Town Clean Up Day.  We sure have seen an increase in litter, from the usual cigarette butts and food wrappers to discarded masks and used gloves, so even though we are not gathering in groups right now, it was so good to see people sign up for remote cleaning in their own neighborhoods and staying committed to this semi-annual tradition.  Town Clean Up Day landed on a day when the store is very busy (the day before Easter!) but I saw our Sustainability Committee at the store roll up their sleeves and pick up trash around the parking lot and along Main Street.  We all believe that this is important to many of us, and something that we will make sure to prioritize.

This year I learned what an incredible resource Housatonic Resources Recovery Authority (HRRA) is!  From the classes that they host to a tool that allows you to check what items are recyclable, I have found HRRA to be a go-to spot for information. I took their Trash Talk webinar and even though I consider myself a pretty informed Recycler, there was definitely more to learn. It was so informative and I believe it should be required viewing!

I also learned that there is no limit to my love of children’s books.  With new Earth Day themed titles that we shared during Kids Week, I got to reread some old favorites and discover some amazing new books.  Specifically in The Last Straw, by local author Susan Hood, I got to learn about unbelievable kids all around the world doing work to help this planet.  

And probably one of the most important things I learned during Earth Month was about shifting the conversation about food and climate.  So many of us have found that we can in fact make changes to our habits when it is necessary, so why not take the opportunity to make these changes now.  And it starts with HOW we talk about food and climate.  HOW do we make sure that we don’t politicize the discussion and not use words that cause guilt and panic?  HOW do we highlight what is positive about this opportunity and connect the dots for others?  While it won’t be something that will change overnight, I feel like I had a bit of an “Aha” moment when starting to incorporate the phrases “climate-beneficial” and “climate-friendly” eating.  It feels like an intentional, positive choice that I am making, rather than “avoiding food waste,” which can create feelings of guilt. HOW can we harness the positive energy of this shift to include more people, keep the conversation going, empower ourselves and others to make changes that will have real impact, and be honest that we WILL NOT always be perfect.  Whether it is food choices or what I package my food in, I am still learning. Prior to working at New Morning Market, I was sure everyone who worked here was so much better than me at all things “Earth Friendly” but I have found that there are ebbs and flows for each us.  We are all always learning; always growing.

Did you learn anything new during Earth Month this year?  If so, share it with us!  We would love to learn even more!