Earth Day an annual reminder to take care of planet whole year ’round

Melissa Fose

Melissa Fose

Reduce, reuse and recycle. This important phrase has been buried by the materialistic world. This world is full of people who must have everything hot off the assembly line and people who throw anything and everything into the trash.

Earth Day was started in 1970 by Gaylord Nelson, a senator from Wisconsin, in protest of the U.S. government’s ‘environmental ignorance.’ Looking around in 2008, the public is the one swimming in ignorance.

If parents want their children to live in a healthy world, they must learn to take care of the environment. Conservation is the key to caring for the environment, and this key includes reducing waste, reusing products and recycling.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revealed the amount of waste per person has doubled in the last 35 years. In order to stop this trend, Americans need to reduce the amount of products consumed as well as the amount tossed in the trash bin.

By starting little by little, people can seriously change the path our planet is headed. The EPA determined that if every American home swapped one incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent bulb, a lot of energy would be saved. In fact, within one year of the switch, there would be enough energy conserved to light three million houses as well as avoid greenhouse gases for approximately 800,000 vehicles.

Making decisions without thinking about conservation is equivalent to promising a dirty, polluted world to your children. Instead of buying one-time-use plastic tableware, buy dishes that can be washed and used numerous times. Also, limit the use of other one-time-use products such as paper coffee cups and plastic pop bottles.

Reusing products is another way to conserve. Using the back of paper for scratch paper or purchasing a reusable water bottle are two other simple ways to conserve. Also, you can donate your used goods to charity; this is a win-win situation, as the goods are reused by those in need and you don’t have to worry about these goods anymore.

If nothing else, Americans should learn to recycle. The most common recyclable materials are aluminum, glass, paper, plastic and steel. The EPA says that approximately 75 percent of solid waste is recyclable, but only 30 percent is actually recycled.

Over 8,000 curbside recycling programs are taking care of business across the U.S., according to the EPA. Americans should call their garbage program coordinators to determine what can be recycled in the area.

Earth Day is an annual event to promote the value of the environment as well as take action to care for it. We shouldn’t celebrate the earth on just one day of the year. If we continue to damage the environment 364 days each year, there won’t be much left to save on Earth Day.