Sunday, April 22, 2012

Make Earth Day Everyday!

Joanna Michaels

An average American produces about 4 pounds of garbage a day. That needs to stop if we want to live in a healthy environment. Did you know than certain products, like styrofoam, never decompose? Take charge of your environment on this Earth Day. Show your children how little changes can impact their environment. Teach them respect for nature and everything that surrounds us.

About half of the U.S. population has the advantage of curbside recycling for paper, aluminum, and plastic. Others do not have such a comfort, even though they may truly want to pitch in to preserves our resources. For those who want to recycle, but have no curbside recycling in their community, and for those who would like to recycle items such as motor oil, batteries, paint, light bulbs, cleaning supplies, toys and electronics, I would like to suggest as a resource. Earth911 provides info on where to recycle various items in your community or in its vicinity.

At the store, select products with recyclable packaging. If you have to buy a packaged item, select one with the least unrecyclable packaging. 

Reduce your yard waste by making a compost pile. Did you know that the leaves of just one large tree might be worth the same as $50 of plant food? It's true! Leaves are even richer in minerals than manure. Composted leaves, or humus, benefit your yard in many ways. They reduce yard waste and improve the structure of your soil. Humus improves the soil’s water-holding ability, prevents soil from drying out too rapidly, and controls evaporation. Compost acts as a good fertilizer and effectively stimulates healthy root development. It is rich in nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. Since it is so beneficial to your yard, why throw it out?

Disney has released the film, Earth, today. For every ticket sold between April 22 and 28, a tree will be planted. Your ticket purchase will help replenish our quickly disappearing trees.

While spring-cleaning your house, you might find a number of unwanted items. Don’t throw them out! Instead, donate them to the Salvation Army, Purple Heart, soup kitchen, or a local shelter. 

The best way to stimulate your children’s imagination is to engage them in a fun project that requires using items you already have. Items you can use for projects include old buttons, paper plates, egg cartons, and ice cream sticks. Use your imagination and have some fun! 

Joanna has been a middle school science teacher for 8 years. She emphasizes ways to live an environmental friendly lifestyle in her classroom on a daily basis. For two years before she began teaching, Joanna lived "off the grid" with her husband and son. She says those two years were the hardest of her life, but also the most memorable and enjoyable. She hopes to return to that lifestyle after she receives her doctorate.

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