Since 1970, April 22nd has been celebrated as "Earth Day," a day when people all over are reminded of the importance of standing up for this precious planet of ours, a day when we have the opportunity to find better ways of living that help to promote and preserve a cleaner, safer, and "greener" environment. What began as a sort of "fringe" movement has become a worldwide phenomenon as we all come to realize the harsh realities of disregarding our responsibilities as inhabitants of this one Earth. Here is a small but significant list of Ecology facts that should make us all stop and think (taken from PlanetPals.com):
- The garbage in a landfill stays there for over 30 years.
- Each gallon of fuel burned releases 20 pound of Carbon dioxide into the air.
- Approximately 5 million tons of oil produced each year ends up in the ocean.
- The amount of wood and paper we throw away is enough to heat 50 million homes for 20 years.
- 14 billion pounds of trash is dumped into the ocean each year.
- Plastic takes over 500 years to break down.
As daunting as these statistics are, hope still springs eternal. We can all do our part in making a difference and supporting a greener world. Here are a few things you can do today to help make every day Earth Day (taken from 50 Ways To Help):
- CHANGE YOUR LIGHT: If every U.S. household replaced one regular lightbulb with an energy-efficient compact fluorescent lightbulb, the pollution reduction would be equivalent to removing one million cars from the road.
- TURN OFF COMPUTERS AT NIGHT: By turning off your computer instead of leaving it in sleep mode, you can save 40 watt-hours per day.
- RECYCLE GLASS: Recycled glass reduces related air pollution by 20 percent and related water pollution by 50 percent. If not recycled, glass can take a million years to decompose.
- USE ONE LESS PAPER NAPKIN: If everyone in the U.S. used one less paper napkin every day, more than a billion pounds of napkins could be saved from landfills each year.
- RETHINK BOTTLED WATER: Nearly 90% of plastic water bottles are not recycled, ending up in landfills where it will take over 500 years to decompose. Switch to using washable water bottles.
- USE RE-USABLE BAGS: Each year the U.S. uses 84 billion non-biodegradable plastic bags. Re-usable bags are stronger, inexpensive, and readily available.
- PAY BILLS ONLINE: By some estimates, if all households in the U.S. paid their bills online and received electronic statements instead of paper, we'd save 18.5 million trees every year, 2.2 million tons of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, and 1.7 billion pounds of solid waste.
So do your part to protect the 3rd rock from the sun...the one and only Earth we have, and lets all work together so that our children and their children will inherit a cleaner, greener planet!