Earth Day

First of all, I apologize for not posting this yesterday, so I guess it’s more of a Belated Earth Day. Unfortunately, I didn’t do much for Earth Day; it was a chilly gray day with steady rain and an abundance of mud. The ducks loved it, but our new puppy greeted her walks with howls of protest. Needless to say, I didn’t get out to pick up trash along our road; hopefully sometime this weekend that will happen. For a thinly populated, winding, gravel road in Custer County, our road collects quite a bit of litter, including a disturbing collection of Bud Light cans. Last year it was bottles, but the same brand.

Like any endeavor, the best work begins close to home. The best way to celebrate Earth Day is to take part in activities that make a difference where you live, like planting trees, picking up trash or recycling your aluminum cans. Perhaps if you live where spring has really arrived (temps above 50 degrees and some sun), you may even be able to hit the garden.  There is a benefit to the bigger, collective actions, but doing something local is eminently satisfying.

Here are a few “factoids” about waste to remind us all to reduce, reuse and recycle:

  • It takes glass one million years to decompose in a landfill;
  • Americans throw away enough glass bottles and jars every two weeks to fill up the twin towers of the former World Trade Center;
  • Americans discard 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour (it adds up to 22 billion annually);
  • Every person in the U.S. generates 4.6 pounds of garbage per day, which adds up to 1.472 billion pounds per day;
  • One ton of recycle plastic bottles saves 3.8 tons of oil;
  • Throwing away one aluminum can wastes as much energy as filling that same can half-full with gasoline and pouring it on the ground;
  • Every year, Americans throw away 25 billion styrofoam cups, enough to circle the Earth 436 times.