Earth Day Inspiration, Day 1: Seeds in the Classroom
Want to learn how to increase student performance in public schools, grow edible walls and green your school cafeteria? Be inspired by this TED talk by New York public school teacher and green educator, Steven Ritz. If you've never heard of TED, its a minefield of inspirational talks from thought leaders around the world. We're obsessed with TED. You will be too.
Earth Day Inspiration, Day 2: Choose Your Threads Wisely
More than 25% of the world’s pesticides are used on non-organic cotton, according to the Organic Trade Association. In California alone, cotton crops are coated with 6.9 million pounds of chemicals every year. Luckily, Sonoma County companies are pushing the envelope by sourcing only 100% organic cotton. Look no further than our friends and neighbors Farm Fresh Clothing. Farm Fresh uses American- grown organic cotton and non-toxic water-based to create their fresh teeshirt designs.
Another local favorite is Santa Rosa based Indigenous Clothing, a brand at the cutting edge of sustainable fashion. Indigenous sources organic threads from South American artisans while partnering with 300 weaving and hand-looming groups. Their handcrafted, eco-friendty fashion collections combine creativity, simplicity, and respect for cultural traditions.
We hope you support these brands next time you shop!
Earth Day Inspiration, Day 3: BYO Travel Mug!
At TMF, using responsible packaging has always been a priority for us. That's why we package our coffee beans in a recycleable steel can, and why we we offer a $1 discount for reusing that same can.
In our Coffee Bar we offer compostable coffee cups from World Centric, but we’d love it even more if our customers brought their own eco-friendly coffee mugs. Whether you make a DIY travel mug from mason jars or purchase one-of-a-kind, hand-painted cups from Etsy, BYO is the way to go. We’ll even give you a discount.
Earth Day Inspiration, Day 4: Vertical Gardens
Have you always dreamed of growing a garden but have limited space? Two words: vertical gardens. These links give step by step instructions on how to build them, hang them and grow them.
Earth Day Inspiration, Day 5: Know Your Footprint.
Understanding your family’s carbon footprint is the first step in learning how to reduce it. This simple quiz from The Nature Conservancy will assess how much CO2 your family's activities generate through transportation, diet, and shelter. Armed with this knowledge, you can create a family action plan for reducing your environmental impact.
Earth Day Inspiration, Day 6: Work From Home
Now that you’ve calculated your carbon footprint, it’s time to take concrete steps to reduce it. A simple, productive way to do that is by working from home one day per week. Working from home boosts productivity and lowers your carbon footprint by reducing your commuter miles.
Every Wednesday, my backyard patio (pictured above) transforms into my office for the day. In the uninterrupted serenity of my succulent garden, it is my most productive day of the work week. In fact, several studies reveal that employees who work from home are more productive and have higher job satisfaction.
But it’s not just about productivity, of course! Let’s take a look at how I'm lowering my carbon footprint by abstaining from the commute 1 day per week.
My commute from Petaluma to Sebastopol is 18.8 miles each way, or 37.6 miles round trip. By plugging this data into the carbon calculator at Native Energy, I find that working from home one day per year prevents 1 ton of carbon from entering the atmosphere!
Lower carbon footprint, more productivity and higher job satisfaction. Now that’s a recipe for success.
Earth Day Inspiration, Day 7: New Uses for Old Items
Have a handful of Taylor Maid Farms coffee cans lying around your house? Our Pinterest board has great ideas for how to transform these vessels into something beautiful, from lanterns to hanging gardens.
Earth Day Inspiration, Day 8: Children's Books
Get your kids involved in Earth Day this year with these great reads.
Earth Day Inspiration, Day 9: Plant A Tree
We all know that trees act as the earth's lungs, breathing in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere. But did you know that one tree can remove 26 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year? That’s the equivalent of 11,000 miles of car emissions.
If you're eager to plant a tree yourself but don't know where to start, click here for a step by step guide. Or you can donate $1 to the Nature Conservancy and they will plant one tree in the dwindling Atlantic forest of Brazil.
Earth Day Inspiration, Day 10: Join A CSA
Another easy way to reduce your footprint is by purchasing local, seasonal fruits and veggies instead of imported produce. Community Supported Agriculture programs help you do just that while building the local economy and supporting your community's farmers. Here’s how it works:
- Join a CSA in your neighborhood and pay a reasonable monthly fee. Choose a produce box that suits your needs, or share a larger box with a neighbor.
- Arrange to have your farm share delivered or to pick it up at a designated station.
- Enjoy fresh produce bursting with flavor at its seasonal peak!
If you’re in the Sebastopol area, we recommend Laguna Farm which is just down the road on Highway 116. Here’s a sneak peak at their typical offerings for each season:
Winter: 1/2 Pound Salad Mix, Broccoli, Parsnips, Butternut Squash, Yellow Onions, Satsuma Tangerines, Kale.
Spring: 1/2 Pound Salad Mix, Carrots, Sugar Snap Peas, Spring Onions, Shiitake mushrooms, Spinach, Parsley.
Summer: 1/2 Pound Salad Mix, Radish, Heirloom Tomatoes, Zucchini or Cucumber, Corn, Basil.
Fall: 1/2 Pound Salad Mix, Beets, Sugar Pie Pumpkin, Peppers, Apples, Green Beans, Chard.
Earth Day Inspiration, Day 11: Bring Back the Clothesline
According to the Energy Information Administration, household dryers account for 6% of annual household energy consumption, and using a clothes line can save you an average of $25 on your monthly energy bill. Visit www.projectlaundry.org to learn more tips on reducing your laundry footprint. (Hint: wash in cold water).
Earth Day Inspiration, Day 12: Drive Less, Borrow More
Have you been known to drive to the store to purchase one or two ingredients missing from a recipe? Why not bring back the lost art of borrowing from a neighbor? Not only does this lower your carbon footprint, it’s a chance to build community and get to know those you share a block with.
The simple act of borrowing can open up new friendships and strengthen neighborhood bonds. At first, approaching neighbor you barely know might seem intimidating. That’s why the folks at GOOD magazine have created Neighborday on April 27, a day dedicated to....well...the act of neighboring. They’ve even created tool kits designed to facilitate optimal neighbor interaction (think: ice breakers and block party invites).
Good neighboring is a lost art. Let’s bring it back. Next time you’re tempted to run to the store, borrow from a neighbor instead. I dare you.
Earth Day Inspiration, Day 13: Bike or Bust.
We all know that we should bike more and drive less. But did you know about these bike initiatives happening in our own back yard?
1. Founded in 2012, Petaluma Community Bikes is a non-profit that repairs and recycles old bikes to increase ridership in Petaluma & surrounding communities. They teach bicycle safety and play matchmaker by connecting people who need a bike with folks looking to get rid of one.
2. San Francisco is the next U.S. city slated to introduce a long-awaited Bike Share program. 350 bikes will be stationed at 25 locations downtown. Modeled after the Zipcar program, Bike Share allows folks to rent a bike for a small fee, ride it to their next location, and park it at the nearest Bike Share station. The program is slated to launch this year.
Earth Day Inspiration, Day 14: 3 Steps To A Better Garden
1. Peruse Sunset Magazine's stellar spread on how to build a raised garden bed.
2. Populate your garden with plants from Jail Industries at the North County Detention facility in Santa Rosa. A partnership between the Sonoma County Sheriff's office, the Sonoma County Office of Education, and the National Tree Trust, Jail industries uses gardening as a tool to rehabilitate inmates by teaching job and life skills for the future. The next public plant sale happens on May 11.
3. Did you know that coffee grounds are fabulous compost material for your garden? They add nitrogen, magnesium, potassium and to the soil. Pick some up for free in our retail store.
Earth Day Inspiration, Day 15: 6 Billion Others
This powerful talk from Arthus Bertrand includes powerful images of global climate change and personal stories that inspire hope. Watch. Learn. Act.
Earth Day Inspiration, Day 16: E-Waste Recycling
Don’t let old appliances and gadgets fill up our landfills. Seek out opportunities to recycle your technology and avoid chemicals leaching into the soil. The next free E-Waste Recycling event takes place at the Goodwill retail store in Healdsburg from 8am-4pm on April 27 & 28. They are accepting all appliances and computers with plugs (air conditioners and refrigerators excluded). More information can be found here.
Making Every Day Earth Day
For the last few weeks we’ve been sharing ideas to inspire a greener personal lifestyle. Carrying out these ideals in our work place is mission critical for Taylor Maid Farms. Here are 4 ways we practice sustainability in our everyday operations:
1. Sourcing: Since our founding in 1993, we’ve roasted 100% organic coffee from some of the world’s most environmentally progressive farms. As opposed to conventionally grown monoculture coffee harvested by machines, the coffee we purchase is hand-picked and grown under the shade of fruit trees where native flora and fauna thrive.
2. Roasting: TMF played an integral role in developing the most energy efficient roaster on the market- the Loring Smart Roast. Manufactured in Santa Rosa, this smokeless roaster uses patented technology that can slash energy emissions by 80%.
3. Packaging: You’ve seen our steel cans on the shelves at your local grocer, but have you ever read the fine print? As it states on our can, each year recycling steel saves enough energy to power one fifth of U.S. households for one year. Recycling steel also prevents the need to mine additional iron and coal, the main ingredients used to make steel. As icing on the cake, we offer a $1 discount when customers refill their coffee can at our retail store.
4. Compostable Cups: We can’t wait to open our Coffee Bar in The Barlow so we can play hostess and serve you perfect cappuccinos in ceramic "for here" mugs. But if you’re on the go, we’re happy to serve you in a compostable paper cup from World Centric, made in the US from plant-based materials.
How does your business practice sustainability?