The Caring Economy — Earth Day 2016

 What companies do every day

Earth Day, established April 22, 1970, has become the largest secular observance in the world, and is celebrated by more than a billion people annually. It’s a day where people are more mindful about the environment and reflect on what they can do to help preserve and protect the planet.

But the earth needs our care every day — not just on Earth Day. Here is what a few companies are saying and doing:

Alki Surf Shop 

Having our business on Alki Beach means we have a front row seat to observe Earth Day and the forces of nature. We are aware of the ebb and flow of the tides. We look out at sailboats being driven by the wind, and hear the high-pitched calls of seabirds as they wheel overhead. When the sand is hot, we stick our toes in the cold salt water of Puget Sound – home to an irreplaceable, teeming ecosystem – and gaze up at the snowcapped Olympic Mountains glistening in the sun. And we realize that all of this is interconnected and must be protected for all time. — Kahuna Dave, Beach Bum and CEO, Alki Surf Shop

Alki Beach Sunset © terri nakamura - small


Apple’s recycling efforts recovered 89 million pounds of materials in 2015, including copper, silver, aluminum, steel, zinc, and $40 million worth of gold.

A commercial featuring Siri and promoting “Liam,” debuted today. Liam is a robot designed to dismantle and recycle iPhones.

Siri and Liam commercial


Amazon is always on the lookout for ways to reduce the company’s impact on the environment.

  • Shipping packages are made from recovered fiber content, and are 100 percent recyclable
  • Amazon incorporates sustainable and eco-friendly materials in their buildings (six of their buildings have been awarded LEED Gold certification)
  • They make “Green” products available to consumers ( Earth Day Bookn).

Today, Amazon offers “The Four Seasons – An Earth Day Interactive Children’s Storybook” as a free download.


One of Google’s goals for the products they create is to be good for the environment. A few points worth noting:

  • Google has been carbon neutral since 2007.
  • They are the largest corporate buyers of renewable energy on the planet.
  • Their data centers use 50 percent less energy than typical data centers.

“We live on a beautiful planet, and it’s the only one we’ve got,” says Sophie Diao, 2016 Google doodler.

To see a history of Google Earth Day doodles, visit:

Sophie Diao Google Doodler Earth Day 2016

Value Village 

A “clothing spill” appeared yesterday on Alki Beach. Electric Coffin, a creative company whose efforts were sponsored by Value Village, was deployed to create installation art made of discarded/donated clothing. The conical spirals appeared to be “poured” from an oil barrel into a “pool” of colored clothing at the base. Informational oil-barrel lids told more of the story to passersby. The work brings attention to the volume of textile waste generated by people each year, which averages to be 80 pounds per person in North America.

Sidewalk Art - composite © Terri Nakamura-small


In honor of Earth Day 2016, Verizon has made a commitment to plant 50,000 trees this year.

But on an everyday basis, Verizon is a good corporate and global citizen that works to protect our planet as well as better serve their customers. A few statistics of note:

  • Verizon has 206 Energy Star-certified stores, offices and centers
  • 289 of their retail stores are LEED-certified
  • Verizon has reused, repurposed or recycled 50 million mobile devices to date
  • Employees have collected and recycled 2.1 million pounds of e-waste.

Verizon impacts and how to make a difference


Whether you did something to honor Earth Day, or if  you did nothing more than enjoy family, friends and colleagues and the world around you, I hope we can all do things in the future to help make it possible to celebrate many more.

Apple, Google and Verizon images sourced at URLs cited; Alki and Value Village images shot by Terri Nakamura, using a Samsung Galaxy 7, courtesy of Verizon Wireless.

I’m proud to participate as a member of Verizon’s social media outreach team. My posts are about my own personal experiences.  No compensation is provided, nor are favorable comments promised. All opinions are my own.

More about Terri:

10 thoughts on “The Caring Economy — Earth Day 2016

  1. Great article, very informative! 50000 trees is quite a large number of trees! Maybe if every citizen would grow a tree and collect plastic, it will be helpful too. Happy Earth Day!


    • Dear Diana,
      Thanks so much for the comment. You’re right—50,000 trees is a LOT! And it would be a pretty amazing initiative to have a tree planted for every citizen!
      There were quiet observances of Earth Day here, but it would be best of all if we could incorporate earth-friendly practices in our everyday lives.


  2. That “clothing spill” on the beach was incredible, and a tad ominous. I’ve never really thought about textile waste. 80lbs per year?! Simply used to produce the clothes that we wear every single day, oh my. Well, it’s the little things that count. We can all plant a tree, safely recycle old broken and/or outdated electronics and simply do our part to protect Mother Earth. Thanks for such an enlightening article and every day should be EARTH DAY!


    • Dear Reg,
      The “clothing spill” was a pretty neat installation. A big truck full of 3 tons of clothing rolled up to the beach Thursday morning, and Electric Coffin artists sorted by color before constructing each piece.
      I think Value Village was saying every person discards/wastes 80 pounds of clothing each year, and I guess I believe that. You and I aren’t running out to the mall to buy the latest trends each week, but those who do more than compensate for our more modest consumption.
      It was pretty impressive to see Apple recovered $40 million in gold. What I want to know is, where the heck is it? Makes me want to break open an old iPhone 3g to find it!
      Hope you and T had a happy Earth Day!
      ((HUGS)) T


  3. It’s great to see these companies setting an example of ecological responsibility. Bravo! And I love the personal appreciation of beautiful Alki expressed by Kahuna Dave!


    • Thanks so much, Melissa.
      Kahuna Dave was kind to make a contribution to this post!
      We’re fortunate to live in a time where good stewardship can have an effect on the outcome for future generations.
      Love ya! me


  4. I’m happy that we’ve become much more conscious of protecting Mother Nature.
    Not too long ago, we were throwing everything in our garbage cans with abandon. I think of that
    every time I lug a full recycling bin up my driveway. Thanks for a very educational
    post, Terri!
    p.s. Loved the thought provoking clothing sculptures. Wish I could’ve seen them in person.


    • Dear Jennifer,

      Thanks very much for reading this, and for taking the time to leave a comment. In the spirit of Cinco de Mayo, “muchas gracias!”

      I wonder if other cities are as obsessive as Seattle when it comes to recycling? It’s now so normal to consider each garbage bin, and whether it’s the proper place to deposit refuse!

      It’s great to see major companies viewing the environment as a top priority. Certainly they have the critical mass to effect change!

      The clothing sculptures came and went quickly, as if phantoms constructed, then dismantled them. The following day, it was if they’d never been there.

      Thanks again! Love, Terri


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