Easy Being Green
For 47 years, April 22 has been celebrated as Earth Day around the globe. Today, Earth Day organizers are asking citizens around the world to do a “billion acts of green.” Unsure what constitutes an act of green? Earth Day organizers offer some easy suggestions.
A step that will relieve both the earth and your mailbox is to end junk mail. Over 100 million trees are cut down every year to produce junk mail, producing four million tons of advertisements, catalogs, and solicitations thrown into the trash. Often, a telephone call to those sending junk mail can take you off their mailing list.
Many appreciate the value of recycling paper, plastic, and cans, but few understand the value of recycling old computer parts and obsolete technology. Technology develops so fast that it is no wonder many people toss their cell phones and laptops into the garbage, accounting for 50 million tons of electronic waste each year. Many of these electronic parts contain lead, mercury, cadmium, and other harmful chemicals that leach into our soil and water. Luckily, most local governments have electronic recycling stations ready to accept old and obsolete electronics.
One of the biggest threats to the planet is plastic: bags, bottles, and packaging take 500 to 1,000 years to decompose. Using less plastic, especially plastic grocery bags is a great way to act green.
Changing old habits is hard, but current innovations are helping clean up some wasteful habits. “Green” buildings are being built that produce as much energy as they consume. New batteries can store energy for homes and businesses in a way that reduces pollution. Energy is being harnessed from solar panels, wind turbines, and even ocean waves. But if you’d still like to help Mother Earth the old-fashioned way, a great and enduring act of green is to simply plant a tree on April 28, Arbor Day.