Editorial: Simple things you can do to protect the planet

Published 7:30 pm Sunday, April 15, 2018

No matter how you feel politically, we all can agree that we live on one amazing planet.

We have the chance to celebrate our planet this Sunday on a day that has come to be known as Earth Day.

Earth Day was started in 1970 by Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the 1969 oil spill Santa Barbara, California. That year, 20 million Americans held demonstrations and protests against things such as oil spills, pollution, pesticides, loss of wilderness and other topics at colleges, universities and in communities across the country. The day ultimately led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts.

Email newsletter signup

Earth Day since then has expanded to almost 200 countries across the globe. Though it still has included demonstrations over the years like it did that first year, you don’t have to actively be demonstrating to make a difference.

There are some simple things you can do to help protect our planet:

• Bring reusable bags when grocery shopping.

• Conserve water. Doing simple things like turning off the water when you brush your teeth can go a long way. Watch for leaks in sinks and toilets.

• Recycle. In Freeborn County, recycling is an easy choice. Remember, too, you can always ask for a second bin.

• Compost. It’s easier than you think, and it makes a good natural fertilizer.

• Walk or ride your bike when you can, and drive less.

• Plant a tree.

• Use energy-efficient light bulbs.

• Flip off light switches when you leave the room.

• Educate others about taking care of the Earth, and encourage others to do the same.

• Organize a time to pick up trash around the community or participate in the annual lakes cleanup.