The concept of sustainability, as the Environmental Protection Agency defines it, is “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” It’s not a new idea, but it’s an idea that goes beyond the annual field trip my junior high school class made to the creek on Earth Day to clean up discarded paper, broken bottles and old rubber tires. Although I can remember feeling smug that our generation had the foresight to think about the environment back in 1970 when the first Earth Day was celebrated, there was so much more to do! Seventeen years later, in 1987, the seeds for sustainability were sown when a report called “Our Common Future” was published by the World Commission on Environment and Development.

In concrete terms, sustainable development takes place when economic progress and environmental protection hold hands and march forward together into the future. It happens when items that would otherwise be discarded are upcycled, or converted into new uses. It occurs when reusable products take the place of one-use-only products. It also happens when an article of clothing that is outgrown is passed on to another person, or recycled.

Members of the BBEST team exercise their sustainable development muscles in various inventive and interesting ways. June of Fickle Faerie, for example, sews reusable produce bags that allow fruits and vegetables to breathe, but are also good for the environment because they take the place of plastic bags.

Joon of joonbeam upcycles bits of old magazines and books that would otherwise end up in the local landfill by converting them into inventive pinbacks.

Ann of Greenwillow Crafts sews reusable gift bags that are both a visual and tactile delight.

Alysa of Alysa Merle Handcrafts makes plarn bags by cutting strips from plastic bags, and crocheting them like yarn into reusable bags.

Kym of PaperParaphernalia has fashioned origami business card holders from glossy magazine pages.

Finally, Jeanne of Button Divas reminds us to “Go Green” with her photo button pendant necklace.

With each of these eco friendly products, today’s Boomers remind us that the idealistic children of yesterday’s Earth Day are still working every day to create tomorrow’s sustainable future.

© 2009 Judy Nolan. All rights reserved.Please note that the images in this post are owned by the artists and may not be used without permission. Simultaneously published at

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1 thought on “Earth Day Every Day”

  1. Very cool article, and I am glad others remember the first time around with the recycle business. Thanks for including my origami business card holders.

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