Editorial: Do your part for Earth Day

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 21, 2006

On April 22, 1970, the first Earth Day was celebrated.

The celebration to promote awareness of environmental issues is no less important .

Locally, we have an organized opportunity to do our part. An Earth Day lakeshore cleanup will be held Saturday at Myre-Big Island State Park. Anyone interested in helping should arrive and sign in at the park entrance at 9 a.m. Entrance into the park is free for volunteers on this day. Volunteers can contribute as much of their time as they are able. Children under 18 are welcome if they are accompanied and supervised by an adult. Gloves and bags will be provided.

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After this project is complete, anyone who is able is welcome to help clean up along the Blazing Star Trail.

People always have the option of picking up around them. The next time you go for a walk, consider taking a bag along to collect some of the trash you see along the way. If everybody did this once in a while, imagine the impact.

Of course, there are many opportunities every day to take care of our earth:

-&160;Recycle. Curbside recycling is available here in town. It doesn’t get any easier than that. Simply wash out those cans and bottles and bundle those newspapers together for pickup on collection day. Recycle those cans, bottles and office paper at work, too, and remind your co-workers to do the same. This keeps a huge volume of waste out of our landfills. How about those aluminum cans? Help out the Boy Scouts or local schools by donating them to their can drives. It’s a great fund-raiser and you don’t have to spend a time.

-&160;Don’t forget e-waste. Sell or donate your unwanted cell phone; donate your old computer to a local school or contact the manufacturer for recycling information; take your old electronics to a local dropoff or community recycling center. Electronics contain toxic substances like lead, chromium and mercury that can contaminate our soil and water.

-&160;Clean out your closet. But instead of putting items out with your trash, donate the good, usable items to a charitable organization. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.

-&160;Replace standard incandescent light bulbs with super-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs. CFLs cost a little more upfront, but use a quarter of the electricity of comparable incandescents, and last up to 13 times longer.

-&160;Improve your fuel economy. One of the easiest ways to maximize your car’s gas mileage is to maintain the correct tire pressure. Seasonal temperature changes and normal wear and tear cause tires to lose pressure, which can cut fuel economy by up to 5 percent .

-&160;Walk or bike. Consider hoofing it or riding your bike on some of those short trips around town. It’s better for your health, too.

The first Earth Day worked because of a spontaneous response at the grassroots level. We can make a huge difference everyday right here in our homes and communities.