Earth Day Should be Every Day
The first Earth Day was on April 22, 1970 as a way to publicly call out humans for our pollutant ways and the great harm we were causing to the air, land, seas, and public health. Twenty million Americans participated in the first Earth Day by protesting in parks, college campuses, and cities bringing attention to the error of our actions and calling for change for various aspects of the environment. Because of the success of the first Earth Day, several environmental laws and protections have since been passed which have lead to a cleaner world for us today. While there have certainly been improvements in our understanding of how humans impact the Earth, we still have so much to learn.
It has been engrained in us since grade school to reduce, reuse, and recycle. We've all heard the tirades on concepts of littering and how plastic straws and bags are harming our seas. Obviously, these are all true and we know these concepts well, but on this Earth Day, I wanted to highlight a couple of local and lesser thought of opportunities to help us treat our Earth right.
But first, watch this old school cool news clip about Earth Day 1970 in Philly!
1. Volunteer with ReLeaf Erie
ReLeaf is a project by Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier Park (LEAF) here in Erie that is planting one tree for every Erie county citizen. That's about 275,000 trees that are going to be planted throughout the county over the next several years and 5,000 of those trees are to be planted in 2021!! This project is a response to climate change and the desire to bring more natural beauty to the Erie community. There are several ways to help ReLeaf with this initiative including donating your time, money, or land. FYI: You don't have to be a professional gardener or know a lot about trees to be involved! Just have a good attitude and desire to bring beauty to our community!
There is a volunteer opportunity tomorrow, April 23, 2021 to plant 200 trees at Camp Fitch YMCA at 9am. To sign up to join, email Rosa at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, give ReLeaf a follow on social to keep up with the latest opportunities to become involved!
2. Recycle Your Glass
One major way to practice the 3 R's is while grocery shopping look for packaging that is the most eco-friendly. One of the best ways materials to look for is glass. When glass is recycled, it cuts down on costs, pollution created, and energy needed to repurpose it compared to creating new glass from raw materials.
Bayfront Glass, LLC is a local company that is serving Erie by providing multiple self-serve glass drop off locations where you can recycle your glass containers. Once collected, Bayfront Glass processes the glass to where it can be reused again to create new glass products. Below are locations of these self-serve glass drop off locations according to Bayfront Glass's website.
- Bayfront Glass LLC 1310 East Ave, Erie, PA 16508
- The Borough of Edinboro 301 Water St, Edinboro PA 16412
- Summit Township 8900 Old French Rd Erie, PA 16509
- Whole Foods Co-Op 1341 W 26th St, Erie, PA 16508
- Greene Scene Thrift 1301 E Grandview Blvd, Erie, PA 16504
- Faith Lutheran Church 5414 E Lake Rd, Erie, PA 16511
3. Donate Unused Food
Instead of throwing away your pantry foods that have gone uneaten for weeks or months, consider donating them to The Little Free Pantry. Similar to the Little Free Library concept, The Little Free Pantry is a community led system for folks in need to take donated groceries and personal items with discretion. Anyone can donate items and anyone can take from the numerous donation locations around Erie. There is a constant need for donations for these pantries to be successful in helping our neighbors so if you've got extra food or household items such as personal hygiene, laundry detergent, and toiletries that you've been shuffling around your cabinets, please find a LFP near you and drop them off so they don't go to waste.
There is an Erie specific LFP Facebook group with a pinned post listing the almost two dozen LFP locations around the Erie area.
We only have one Earth, so please, let's treat her right. Let's make Earth Day every day.
-Peace, love, & plants