To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the Mexicali Blues warehouse crew cleaned up the Route 1 roadside near its flagship location in Newcastle through the Snead Spur. Eight employees armed with gloves, plastic bags, and facemasks used some of their free time to relieve the roadside of years of accumulated garbage and filled the back of their tie-dyed delivery van, Sunshine Daydream. While practicing social distancing, they combed both sides of the road and found everything from outdated political road signs to car parts; but the brunt of the litter was single-use plastic.
The crew was astonished by how many Styrofoam plates and coffee cups were strewn throughout the roadside forest, many of which were breaking into pieces and becoming micro-waste, which can end up in water supply or consumed by small wildlife. The state has made some advances in regulating and banning single-use plastics, and local advocacy groups have shed light on the issue, but there is still a long way to go. The history of this debris and its improper disposal are evidenced all along Route 1.
While Mexicali Blues hasn’t been around as long as Earth Day, it has always tried to be as environmentally conscious and respectful as possible. It generates almost enough solar power at its warehouse in Newcastle to power all five store locations as well as its warehouse. Mexicali Blues has also challenged itself to “green” all aspects of business from packaging to transportation to the in-store experience. Whereas Earth Day is a special day, the Mexicali ethos is to treat every day like it’s Earth Day through actions. Staying physically distant is important, but so is being socially responsible. Everyone can help to keep roadsides clean so as to keep both Mother Nature and her people healthy.