Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Earth Day 2021

The Earth with a pale hand holding it in its palm. Photo by Greg Rosenke on Unsplash.

It’s been one trip around the sun and we find ourselves approaching another Earth Day under the influence of Covid-19. But at this point, things look a lot better than they did last year at this time. No matter how one feels about the vaccine and the virus-mitigation efforts that have been taken, there has inarguably been some amazing science done this year to get us to where we are now. Being cautiously optimistic seems way more reasonable now then it did in 2020.

A Monarch butterfly hanging off a yellow flower. Monarchs need our help. Photo by Marc Meyer on Unsplash.
Unfortunately, one thing that has not changed is the dire straits that many non-profits still find themselves in. The economic recovery that is on the horizon for some organizations is some distance away for those that depend on donations. Most people have to feel financially secure before they are comfortable sharing what they have. Knowing this, on Earth Day 2021 we are donating a portion of our proceeds to two exceptional non-profits. We hope that you will choose that day to shop on our site and that you may be inspired to support them yourself. Or, simply pass along the word, so that we can get as many people as possible to see what these people are doing for our community and beyond.  
An adult gray wolf with puppy. Help save America's wolves. Photo by ML on Unsplash.
Last year we sponsored the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), a Tucson-based environmental activism group and we are such fans of what they do that we are sponsoring them again this year. These people don’t just live environmentally conscious lifestyles, they are fighting for our natural world in the trenches of courtrooms, boardrooms, and legislatures. Whether it is protecting a small endangered mammal of the Southwest, safeguarding tribal and public lands, addressing climate change, or conserving ocean waters, these dedicated people are indefatigable in their efforts. And while it may seem like they have too many irons in the fire, they know how to keep the forge running and every iron is being handled optimally. CBD is also very transparent as to where they are in every project, and what their next steps will be. I encourage everyone to go to their website and see for themselves all the incredible work they’re doing. If you are unable to support them financially, there are petitions to sign and information on other ways you can help. After all, they are working for all of us by working to protect all life on Earth.  

Red, ripe pomegranates amongst green branches. Desert Survivors has heirloom pomegranate trees.
Our other chosen non-profit is Desert Survivors,  which is celebrating its 40th anniversary of respected service to our community this year. Desert Survivors combines a love for desert plants (and their conservation and protection) with an employment program for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Both are combined into a retail enterprise that provides reasonably-priced local plants and trees that are not just beautiful but are kind to our harsh-yet-delicate ecosystem. They even have a little shop on the Chuck Huckleberry Loop along the Santa Cruz River that offers drinks, snacks, and other items that passing bicyclists and walkers may enjoy (the Loop, by the way, was recently named the best recreational trail in the US by USA Today). I have a beloved family member with developmental disabilities, so I am always deeply touched and grateful for those people who dedicate themselves to helping all members of society live their lives with dignity and purpose. So, whether you feel inspired by what they do for others, or you are a local plant enthusiast or heirloom tree lover, I hope you will check them out (please go to their website for any Covid restrictions that may be in effect). They are located where Tucson’s earliest inhabitants lived, at the base of Sentinel Peak (“A” Mountain). Ditch the big box stores and buy local plants from local people. A portion of our proceeds on Thursday, April 22nd will go to Desert Survivors, so shop with us on that day and help them out. Or, you can go to them at any time to support them.

Sabino Canyon, Tucson, AZ. Photo by James Lee on Unsplash.
This Earth Day, I hope we all take a moment to step outside and look around in appreciation of the planet we live on.                                                                                                                                                                           
 Happy Earth Day!
Submitted by Pam.

An alien looking out of a spaceship. A reflection of Earth can be seen in its eyes.

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