By Senator, Lena C. Taylor
Spring is in the air! Unfortunately, as I am writing this a fresh dusting of snow is falling, but we are beginning to see a reprieve from the harsh winter temps and icy roads.
The seemingly endless winter chill is slowly being replaced by beautiful sunny days and warmer weather.
The onset of spring is a reminder that April 22nd is just around the bend, which means Earth Day is almost here!
Earth Day is a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness of the important role that the environment plays in our lives, learn how we can protect and preserve the earth, and take a chance to get outside and enjoy the abundant natural resources that are available!
Recycling is perhaps the most common and easiest way to have a positive impact on the environment.
Taking a few seconds to recycle materials rather than simply throwing them in the garbage helps to decrease the rate at which we are polluting the earth.
If we recycled every newspaper, we could save 250,000,000 trees each year.
Additionally, the average person uses 200 pounds of plastic each year but only recycles six pounds.
Recycling paper, plastic, glass, and metal is a great way to be friendlier towards nature and the environment.
Using recycled paper saves 64% of the energy needed to produce it, and takes 95% less energy to make a can from recycled aluminum than from a new aluminum.
But Earth Day isn’t just about finding ways to reduce your carbon footprint; it’s also about becoming more in touch with the environment on a daily basis.
Earth Day is a celebration of our parks, rivers, and lakes, providing a time to commit to spending more time outdoors.
Planning a time with your family to have a picnic, take a hike, or jump in the lake (once it warms up!) are great ways to celebrate our Earth.
You can also get involved in projects at home, by starting a personal garden, rain barrel, or compost bin.
Some easy things you can do this spring and summer to reduce your carbon footprint:
• Use public transportation, carpool, or bike
• Start a recycling bin in your kitchen
• Turn down the AC (even a few degrees helps!)
• Turn off lights and electronics when not in use
• Buy local – supports local businesses and reduces carbon emissions
While Earth Day is an important celebration of our environment, we should be conscious of our surroundings every day of the year.
It is our responsibility to ensure that we reduce the toll that our daily lives take on the earth.
By being more environmentally conscious, we can guarantee that future generations will continue to enjoy the beauty of nature.
So while you’re enjoying the spring weather, think about how you can be friendlier to the environment.
Let’s leave our world better than we found it.