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Do your part on Earth Day

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On April 22, we will have the 44th anniversary of Earth Day. This was started by people as a way to call attention to environmental pollution the country was then experiencing.

So in the past 44 years, how have we done as a nation? As a former EPA administrator has said, “All of our rivers and lakes may not be fishable and swimmable, but they are no longer flammable.”

While much progress has been made in addressing many environmental problems, we still have a ways to go and this anniversary is a good time to reflect and make a resolution to do some of the simple things we all can do to help improve our environment.

For example, increase recycling. There are still too many bottles and cans thrown in the trash. Take time to separate waste from recyclables. Don’t put trash in the recycle bins. Take time to put a litter bag in the car. There is a lot of litter along our highways and sidewalks.

In some areas, you will see a sign that reads, “This highway adopted by ________Club.” At first I think, what a wonderful effort by local groups to help clean up the area. Then, the second thought hits: But we should not have to do this! The trash should not be there in the first place!

A few examples of trash I have found when walking on sidewalks or in parking lots are:

Soda straws and straw holders

Plastic bottles and bottle caps

Soda and beer cans

Store receipts of all kinds (If you don’t want the receipt, don’t take it!)

Gum and snack pack wrappers of all kinds

Newspapers and various ad fliers

Individual tooth floss holders

Screws, bolts, nails, nuts, etc.

Coins

Cigarette and cigar butts

Our outside environment is as much a part of our home as the ones we own. So on this 44th anniversary of the first Earth Day, let’s all make a new commitment to be part of the solution and not the problem.

Remember, the world is not your trash basket or ash tray! The earth and your neighbors will appreciate it.

Jim Odendahl

Indian Land