Earth Day is a good time to celebrate Mother Earth and focus attention on issues impacting our environment. It's also a good day to point out the small day-to-day changes can make a positive impact over time.
Here are some ways we, and the fly fishing industry, have tried to reduce impact throughout the the past year....
- Biodegradable AIRLOCK indicators. Initially when Airlock made the switch to biodegradable materials for their indicators I questioned if that meant my indicators wouldn't last.... They've cleared up some confusion about what it means to be biodegradable (vs. water soluble).
- Not to be confused with “water soluble:” Air-Lock Biodegradable Strike Indicators will not dissolve or be compromised in any way during normal use.
- Biodegrading happens when the material is left in the elements: mud, water, mulch, compost, etc. over a long period of time.
- Biodegradable FLY CUPS - about 80% of our fly cups (the clear round cups that are available when you purchase a selection of flies) are now biodegradable as opposed to plastic. Not sure about the rest of you but at our house we use these to house hooks, beads, indicators and more -
- Shopping bags - we historically used primarily plastic shopping bags to pack consumer purchases and while we still use some plastic we are gradually making the switch to paper or compostable bags. And while it sometimes feels a bit weird to package your high end reels or other gear in (what feels like) a grocery bag you can also reuse that compostable bag around the house.
- Recycling other packaging - we've seen a significant upswing in our mail order/on-line business. We use a lot of cardboard packaging - some of it is being used for the first time and some of it's being recycled from other shipments.
- Compostable food containers for our guided trips. This took a bit of time as the market caught up but we've made the switch.
There's still work to be done as we all tackle ways to reduce the obsession with plastic but small steps can add up.
Other ways we've participated in making a positive impact since last Earth Day:
- Contributed funds to Bow River Trout Foundation's mono-recycling program which allowed them to install recycling stations along several Bow River access points - and we have a mono recycling unit on site as well.
- Donated to the Livingston Landowners group and been vocal against the proposed Provincial Coal Development plans.
- Offered up a $100 gift card to the Mountains not Mines coloring contest that's currently underway.
- Donated to the Friends of the Raven River and their efforts to protect the headwaters of the Raven.
- Fish Tales - and a handful of our team members - donated product to Bow River Trout Foundation's on-line auction event.
- Fish Tales Owner, David Blair has spent more hours than you can imagine working on various watershed issues ranging from Coal, to Bow River water quality, to Bow River flow rate management and more.
Away from the shop - Dave and Nancy - have made the switch to Tru-Earth laundry and cleaning strips, bar shampoo, and CHANGE toothpaste.
Of course there's much more the shop and each of us as individuals can be doing and we commit to continuing to explore ways to make positive impacts including: continuing to practice and promote "Keep Fish Wet" principles, recycling at home and at the shop, offering cleaner alternatives to lead, picking up garbage, and more.
What steps are you taking to help Earth - not just on Earth Day but throughout the year?