Earth Day — what is it all about?
Submitted by Donna Ulmer Nemaha County Recycling Committee
What is it all about? Where did the concept come from? And, What can I do?
Earth Day is an annual event celebrated on April 22. The day is set apart nationally and now globally to foster appreciation for and awareness of the environment we call home.
In the beginning, man was charged to fill and subdue the earth. (Genesis 1: 27-30, 9:1-3 and later Hebrews 2:6-7) yet, Romans 1:25 reminds us to watch out for our propensity to worship the created rather than GOD, the creator himself.
That said, if we were to go back the last 100 years we would be appalled at the effects our nation’s remarkable industries were having on our environment. We were enjoying the prosperity of a wealthy, healthy nation and at the same time killing ourselves and our home with pollution.
In 1947, the term litterbug was coined and from that time to 1970 public awareness and outcries grew. In 1970, Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin proposed a bill designating April 22 as a national day of celebrating the earth. Since that time, more than 175 other nations have joined the celebrations on April 22 and the day has become a true Earth Day.
One of the unique aspects of the Earth Day movement is that it can fall near and dear to people on either end of the political spectrum. In the early years, together, peoples of many motivations urged the inception of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act.
In 2016, the challenge went out to plant 7.8 billion trees by 2020 the 50th year anniversary. This year, the focus is on how plastics are affecting our planet. Concerns for poisoning and injuring marine life, disrupting human hormones, clogged waste systems and landfills and unattractive landscapes.
As we approach the 50th year anniversary of Earth Day, much has been accomplished, but ongoing awareness and action are necessary to leave this place as a heritage for our children’s children.
As a Nemaha County resident, you can be grateful that we have much invested in these issues. Our farmers and landowners are working yearly on conservation efforts. Land usage and soil issues have been a consistent concern. Our local water is clean. We have a lot of hunters and fisherman who respect the natural resources, and we have an exemplary functioning recycling Center/Workers.
And with that, you can look forward to an article next month to learn about what’s happening here at the Nemaha County Recycling Center.
Suggestions for you and yours to do to participate in Earth Day 2018 include the following: Pick up litter, start a compost bin at home or school, begin recycling, turn off the water when you brush your teeth, switch to online bill paying, use public transportation, turn down the water heater, install energy efficient lights, plant a tree, make a pinecone birdfeeder, start an indoor or outdoor garden, or make art from trash.