This Friday we’re celebrating the forty-sixth year of Earth Day. According to the Earth Day Network, www.earthday.org, “The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, mobilized 20 million Americans from all walks of life. Their actions led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. Today, over one billion people in 192 countries participate in Earth Day activities, making it the largest civic observance in the world.”
It’s easy to join in the celebration of this great event recognizing the planet we all share and depend on. You can do something as simple as turning the lights off when you leave the room, picking up trash at a local park, plant a tree in your backyard, and recycle all the materials you can. The small actions of many add up to a huge positive impact on the health of our planet.
During the last two weeks of the month, you’ll also have the opportunity to join other residents as they celebrate Earth Day at one of these local events. Follow Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful or Recycling Ben on Facebook to get the latest updates and see photos from the following events.
Dalton State College students are invited to participate in Hangout Fest 2016 on Thursday, April 21. Starting at 6:30 pm students can visit The Quad for outdoor movies, games, food, and informational booths with an eco-friendly theme. This event is organized by the DSC Outdoor Club and includes guests like the Georgia River Network, The Recreation Place, and Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful.
On Friday, April 22, the general public is invited to participate in a park cleanup with a DSC fraternity at Al Rollins Park located at 521 Threadmill Road. From 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm students will be removing litter from the park and surrounding area. Volunteers should wear closed-toe shoes and long pants. Trash bags, gloves, safety vests, and water will be provided.
Join in on the fun Saturday, April 23 at Chick-fil-A on West Walnut Ave. from noon to 1:00 pm. Volunteers from Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful will be on site to help you make a flower pot from recycled tires. Complimentary flower pot kits, soil, and wildflower seeds will be provided and available while supplies last.
Stop by Christ the King Lutheran Church on 623 S. Thornton Ave. in Dalton on Sunday, April 24 for Ecumenical Earth Day. From 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm enjoy a free afternoon of fun, food, animals, exhibits, entertainment and more to remind us of our role as stewards of the earth. This year, the 20th anniversary of the event, there will also be a pet blessing led by United Methodist Rev. Steve Brotherton.
Next week, on Friday, April 29, the DSC fraternity will be hosting a park cleanup at Lakeshore Park at 70 Cresent St. in Dalton. Volunteers are welcome to participate from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm and join the students in removing litter from the park and the surrounding area.
Whether you’re able to go to an event or not here are a few ways to celebrate Earth Day year round. Being environmentally conscious and mindful about the things we use usually results in saving money, electricity, water, reducing waste, and event improving our health. For example, switching from incandescent light bulbs to energy-saving compact fluorescents (CFLs) or light emitting diode (LED) bulbs can result in saving money on the electric bill.
Paying bills online and enrolling in electronics statements can reduce the amount of paper you get in the mail. And, not having to put a stamp on a bill payment can save a little money too. Going to work or the store on a bicycle instead of a car will save fuel and reduce the amount of pollution you make. Did you know that a 10-minute shower can consume up to 50 gallons of water, and a bath can take up to 70 gallons? Skip the long shower or bath for a day and help conserve water.
Say goodbye to the plastic bag. From reusable shopping bags and sandwich bags, there are many reusable products available today to replace single-use disposables. Make the switch to at least one this month. If you can’t let the plastic go, start collecting plastic shopping bags at home, then drop them off in the plastic bag recycling container available at the store where you received them. This way you’ll give that bag another life and send it on its way to become something new and useful.