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Airing dirty laundry in a national park.

Close your eyes and envision the crisp breeze brushing against your face, the gentle touch of nature on your skin, and the delightful fragrance of blooming flowers. Nothing quite rivals the healing power bestowed by Mother Nature. And the best part? You can revel in her magnificence every April—for FREE! 

National Park Week made its debut in 1991, marking the National Park Service’s 75th anniversary. Since then, this tradition has endured, with national parks, programs, and partners nationwide partaking in a week brimming with activities and events. 

Feeling the Heat 

Reflecting on the environmental crises of 1991 reminds me of the detrimental impacts of our resource choices. I was 22 years old and just starting to pay attention to the world around me. That year were two major oil-related catastrophes I recall, including the infamous Gulf War oil spill—a monumental environmental disaster—and the deliberate ignition of over 600 Kuwaiti oil wells. The news showed devasting thick black blankets of smoke covering the skies. At that time, I had no idea the lingering effects of those disasters or how petroleum use in everyday products could lead to the plastic waste crisis we are seeing today through the world on land and in the seas.

Awareness of the environmental perils associated with oil consumption has increased tenfold in recent years, yet the reduction on our dependence remains hasnt slowed much. 

Why wait for systemic change when my individual actions can make things better for the coming days and future generations?

Angie Ringler and her husband at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park in Michigan

Cutting Plastic Dependency 

I started selling Tangie products in plastic bottles. But several years into the business, I realized the plastic bottles were still part of the problem. Selling products with natural ingredients wasn’t good enough if I was still selling them in plastic bottles that we not really being recycled.

Did you know that on average, it takes about 1.5 liters of petroleum to produce just one large laundry detergent jug! We all know recycling isn’t working as well as we hoped it would. In my area, they still pick up a recycling bin and a garbage can from the curb, but everything gets dumped into the same truck and it is all incinerated. Sad truth.  

Regarding the number of laundry jugs discarded in the United States per family, specific data varies such as family size, laundry habits, and regional recycling practices. However, according to estimates from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average American family uses around 13 large plastic laundry jugs annually! Think of how many households there are just in your town. The number of just laundry jugs tossed into the trash must be staggering!

Unfortunately, a significant portion of these jugs ends up in landfills rather than being recycled, contributing to environmental pollution and resource depletion.  This is one reason why we at Tangie joined forces with CleanHub to support one of their plastic collection hubs where they collection plastic waste and find useable options for it, BEFORE it enters the ocean. Collections centers like this are popping up around the world to combat ocean waste. We wouldn’t need them if we could stop the plastic waste at its source – the packaging!

Plastic waste on beach

Plastic waste on the beach – it is so sad to look at!

Reducing our reliance on plastic offers a practical solution—one that not only benefits the environment but also saves money in the long haul. Embracing refillable containers can significantly diminish plastic waste. By opting for concentrated formulas that can be diluted at home like this laundry concentrate, we can minimize packaging, shipping costs, and environmental impact. 

Moreover, supporting brands committed to sustainability amplifies this impact. Some companies have already embraced this ethos, offering refillable laundry and hand wash concentrates that epitomize a zero-waste lifestyle. 

Small Brands, Big Impact 

Supporting homegrown brands with eco-conscious missions yes like Tangie (shamlelss plug) further advances this cause. By championing products made in the United States and eschewing unnecessary shipping, we contribute to a more sustainable future. 

As we embark on National Park Week festivities, let’s not overlook the interconnectedness between our laundry and the preservation of the beautiful natural wonders  so many fought to be protected from industry. By taking incremental steps to reduce our oil consumption—such as eliminating one more plastic bottle from our lives—we honor the sanctity of nature for generations to come. Get out there and enjoy national park and leave your dirty clothes at home.  You can wash them later. :)

 

Angie Ringler enjoying the outdoor festivities.

Celebrate National Park Week 

The National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, beckons us to enjoy the parks and use National Park Week as a reason to explore breathtaking landscapes, unearth tales of history and culture, lend a helping hand, and discover our personal slice of wilderness. 

Each April, the National Park Service ensures there’s something for everyone. So, whether you’re seeking adventure or solace, find your park and embrace the splendor of the great outdoors. 

  

Get Ready for Adventure 

With the NPS App, navigating over 400 national parks across the US has never been easier. From tour details to accessibility information, this official app equips you with everything you need to plan an unforgettable excursion. 

So, lace up your boots, pack your bags, and hit the trail—because nature’s calling, and it’s time to answer. To find a park close to you, or one far away from you, check this resource page for details.  https://www.nps.gov/findapark/advanced-search.htm 

See you outside!

xo Angie Ringler

Author:

Angie Ringler

A lifelong learner with an entrepreneurial spirit inside long before I knew the word entrepreneurial. I care about what goes around me almost to a detriment. Very empathetic and sometimes find it hard to take in and remove the sadness that I feel around me. I'm a big believer in gratitude and love and respect

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