Earth Day every day!

Celebrate Earth Day April 22, Arbor Day April 24, and every day, by thinking earth every day. Sustain the world by taking green actions such as reducing waste, reusing what you can, and recycling.

Those who Stop by April 22 at the Central Recycling and Reuse Facility of the Monroe County Solid Waste Management District (District) will receive a free tree seedling and some colorful advice along the way! The seedlings will be available starting on the 21, while supplies last.

If you don't know what recycling and reuse saves, stop by Central Recycling and Reuse at 3400 South Walnut St. Seedlings will be donated in collaboration with the Indiana Division of Forestry.

Recycling and reusing help the earth in many ways, and planting trees does too. Studies indicate some of the benefits of planting trees are that trees clean the air by absorbing pollution, increase property values, reduce aggression and violence, reduce energy consumption, reduce pollution, prevent soil erosion, regulate climate, provide a habitat for animals, and provide a better habitat for all living creatures.

In Indiana Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday in April. Arbor Day, which is now celebrated internationally, was founded in the 1880s in Nebraska due to Nebraska's lack of trees. During the 1870s, other states began to observe it as well and the tradition began in the schools nationwide in 1882.

Along with providing free tree seedlings, on Earth Day, the District will offer tours of its facilities to individuals and groups. Call 349-2020 for tours by appointment. Tours are also offered during the year and additional educational opportunities on environmental education are available throughout the year for the public.

The first Earth Day was held in the spring of 1970. In the words of the Founder of Earth Day, Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, "The idea for the special day evolved over a period of seven years starting in 1962. It had troubled me that the state of our environment was simply a non-issue in the politics of the country."

However, as Senator Nelson explained, "If we could tap into the environmental concerns of the general public ... we could generate a demonstration that would force this issue onto the political agenda. In 1970 there was a nationwide grassroots demonstration on behalf of the environment. The response was electric."

Senator Nelson says, "Earth Day worked because of the spontaneous response at the grassroots level. On the first Earth Day as many as 20 million Americans in schools and communities across the country participated in rallies and demonstrations on behalf of Earth. That was the remarkable thing about Earth Day. It organized itself." By 1990 Earth Day had become an international event, with more than 200 million people in 141 countries participating according to Earth Day Network, an organization that coordinates Earth Day activities around the world. Earth Day is most often celebrated on April 22, but some people observe it on March 21, the first day of spring.

Today more than 1,000 groups and over 500 million people participate in activities and events that draw attention to current local and global environmental problems and to discuss commonsense solutions. At fairs, festivals, and talks, people learn about air pollution, water pollution, and soil pollution; the destruction of habitats; the devastation of hundreds of thousands of plant and animal species; and the depletion of nonrenewable resources. They explore how to conserve energy, recycle, reuse, renew natural habitats, and make their lives and others healthier.

Find out what you can do to think earth today and every day. Stop by the Cenmtral Recycling and Reuse Facility of the Monroe County Solid Waste Management District April 22 to celebrate Earth Day, pick out a free tree seedling beginning April 21, and let us help you think earth and take action! Seedlings will be available dependent upon supply. One tree seedling per family.

Elisa Pokral can be reached at epokral@mcswmd.org.