Tag Archive: Earth

Remember the 3 R’s! – Earth Day April 22, 2017

Do you remember the 3 R’s?  If you are over the age of forty you are probably thinking of a classroom, a teacher, and learning about Reading, wRiting, and aRithmetic.  These are the basic standards for learning, of course.  However, it is now 2017and the 3 R’s have a new meaning to a new generation of young people:  Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

In today’s society, we constantly hear concerns about the environment and how we need to implement changes to make a positive impact upon its future.  It is nearly impossible to pay attention to any media without feeling bombarded by messages of conservationism.  “Go Green!”  “Green… it’s the new black.”  “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.”  However, are these sentiments new?  Think about it.  “Give a Hoot… Don’t Pollute.”  “Keep America Beautiful.”  “Keep Our Forests Green.”  The use, or abuse, of our natural resources has long been an issue debated by our nation.  It has more or less been the price we have had to pay for progress; but regardless of one’s political views and beliefs, the fact that Earth is the only planet that will sustain human lives is a hard fact to deny.  It is therefore critical that all of promote principles of conservationism for our future generations.

The practice of reducing, reusing, and recycling may be easily incorporated into many aspects of your everyday lives.  As YOU reduce, reuse, and recycle in your daily lives, you will be teaching by example your own children at home.  Knowing that youth learn by seeing and doing, they will be much more likely to implement  the practices of reducing, reusing and recycling into their own daily lives if they see you practicing the 3 R’s in yours.

How does the Environmental Protection Agency describe each of the 3 R’s?                                                                                                                                                                                               Reduce the amount and toxicity of trash you throw away.  One way is to turn off or unplug lights during the day. Doing so will save energy and help your lights last longer. Use food scraps, yard trimmings, and other organic wastes to create a compost pile. Adding the compost you make to soil increases water retention, decreases erosion, and keeps organic materials out of landfills.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Reuse containers and products. There are many creative ways to reuse items, which might normally find their way into the waste stream: old shoeboxes may be used for storage, plastic containers for planters, etc. You can also donate or give away items rather than throwing these items away. For a large number of unwanted items, you can hold a garage sale. It is also encouraged to shop at garage sales before buying new!

Recycle as much as possible and buy products with recycled content.  Recycling includes collecting, sorting and processing certain solid waste into raw materials for re-manufacture into new items. These all help to cut down on the amount of waste we throw away. They conserve natural resources, landfill space and energy.

In addition, the three R’s save land and money communities must use to dispose of waste in landfills.These are all things we can do daily with just a little thought and effort.  In fact, businesses are making it easier for us every day.  We can reduce our trash in many ways, but an easy way is to reuse water bottles instead of throwing them away after each use.  We can use the reusable bags that many stores now offer for our purchases; this is a great alternative to using plastic shopping bags.  Of course, we can all make more of an effort to recycle by collecting our newspapers, aluminum cans, plastic bottles and glass jars for local recycling centers.  If there are not recycling centers in your area maybe you should start one or pursue your community leaders about the importance of having one.

A few points to consider…

  • The average American produces about 4.5 lbs. of garbage per person per day. This equal 235 million tons a year.
  • Recycling 1 ton of paper saves 17 mature trees.
  • Recycling 1 aluminum beverage can saves enough energy to run a 100 watt light bulb for 20 hours, a computer 3 hours, or a TV for 2 hours. (Currently, 45% of aluminum cans are recycled.)
  • Reduce and reuse by donating old clothes and items to charities.

By instilling the importance of the 3 R’s into today’s society we will be helping  clean the planet for the future.  After all, “A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers but borrowed from his children.”  As quoted by John James Audubon.  Our state 4-H service project theme for next year is the environment.  Why not consider planning a club, county or district service learning project in honor of Earth Day?

Source:

United States Environmental Protection Agency , https://www.epa.gov

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Author: Melanie Taylor – metaylor@ufl.edu

Melanie Taylor

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/03/23/remember-the-3-rs-earth-day-april-22-2017/

Celebrate Earth Day, Then Make Earth Day Every Day!

Earth Day

Earth Day is honored around the world on April 22, with many festivals, activities and events being held in in the weeks prior. April 22 marks Earth Day. Help build a better future and preserve Mother Earth by committing to protect our environment year-round.

The origin of Earth Day is linked to the 1969 Santa Barbara, California oil spill. Wisconsin Senator, Gaylord Nelson, envisioned protecting the nation’s environment after the massive oil spill in California. This led to a movement to increase awareness of environmental pollution. Nelson, partnered with Congressman Pete McCloskey and Denis Hayes of Harvard University to put the Earth Day plan in motion. Earth Day, April 22, 1970 was the catalyst to increase environmental awareness and led to the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Hayes further expanded the Earth Day movement in 1990 into a global event.

Why do we need an Earth Day? Because it works! Earth Day broadens the base of support for environmental programs, rekindles public commitment and builds community activism around the world through a broad range of events and activities.

What can I do for Earth Day? The possibilities for getting involved are endless! Volunteer. Change a habit. Plant a garden. Do something nice for the Earth. April 22 marks Earth Day. Mark your calendar to attend an event or do something positive to preserve your little piece of Mother Earth.

A few Earth Day Events

Earth Day Bay County, April 9, 2016 10 am to 4 pm at McKenzie Park. The University of Florida’s Museum of Natural History will host an Earth Day Exploration on Saturday, April 16, 2016 from 10 am to 3 pm. Earth Day Pensacola, April 23, 2016 10 am to 4 pm. .

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Author: Marie Arick – jmarick@ufl.edu

Originally from Starkville, Mississippi, Arick obtained both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Mississippi State University. With her bachelor’s degree in Fitness Management/Exercise Science, Arick spent 18 years in the medical field primarily in Cardiology before obtaining her Master’s degree in Health Promotion. “I witnessed first-hand the impact on one’s health and overall wellness produced by a serious ailment and the need for more educational programs to aid in improving the overall quality of life for people. This is not just isolated to health education and wellness, but also financial literacy and job skill programs as well. I feel addressing issues with a holistic approach can help people maximize their abilities and that small changes over time can provide a very positive and beneficial impact on people’s lives”
https://Jackson.ifas.ufl.edu

Marie Arick

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/04/01/celebrate-earth-day-then-make-earth-day-every-day/

Celebrate Earth Day: Take Action Towards Sustainability

In the summer of 1997, Charles Moore of Long Beach, California, a furniture refinisher and seafarer was returning from a sailing trip through the seldom traveled Subtropical North Pacific only to realize his sailboat was encircled by  a “plastic soup” for as far as he could see.  In fact, Charles Moore had stumbled upon what is the largest garbage dump on the planet.

It is estimated that this discovery, now dubbed the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a huge stretch of floating waste is actually more like a soup of confetti-sized plastic bits, produced by our lifestyle of throw away consumerism.   This discarded ‘stuff’ has made its way into every ocean.

This garbage patch is literally trash that gets stuck in storm drains and is washed into rivers and out to sea, the legal and illegal dumping of garbage and appliances, and plastic resin pellets inadvertently spilled and unloaded by plastic manufacturers.  In fact, plastic marine debris is now found on the surface of every ocean on earth.

And, no matter where the plastic litter originates, once it reaches the ocean, it becomes a global problem.  Garbage travels thousands of miles as it is carried by many large system of rotating ocean currents.

Moore’s discovery prompted him to take on a cause.  Charles Moore founded Algalita Marine Research Foundation (AMRF) in hopes of raising awareness about the oceans – plastic litter in particular.

Moore’s action falls right into the ecological discussions concerning Handprints…you know those positive ecological aspects of action towards sustainability and the environment that can occur on any scale without compromise.

There is a great deal of information concerning carbon footprints circulating. … the frightening things each and everyone of us is doing to the earth each and every day.  Perhaps, if each of us took time to emulate ‘a guy who cared’ and improve upon our own, individual handprint we could make this world a more sustainable place for everyone and everything.

This Earth Day,  think about your handprint and the capacity you have to influence others.

See You Tube video:  NOAA Marine Debris

Author:  Heidi Copeland

Living Well in the Panhandle

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2012/04/23/celebrate-earth-day-take-action-towards-sustainability/