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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Celebrating Earth Day 2014

It's the 44th anniversary of Earth Day. While there are many areas for improvement and education, we are more aware of our environmental impact and what we can do about it. In school we were taught to reduce, reuse, and recycle. We were taught to turn off our lights and the water tap when not in use. We were taught little steps that reduce our impact. Today is a reminder to start a compost bin or make a trip to the recycling center. There are a million more little things we can do to help preserve our land, keep our skies blue, and keep our water swimmable. You can also get involved in the fights to save the Florida waterways with groups like the Florida Water Coalition and get your hands dirty cleaning up the beach.

Earth Day started in 1970 as a reaction to the rampant air and water pollution. It was a political movement to draw attention to the impact this was having on the earth and on the population. According to Earth Day Network, "The first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts."

Since 1970, the idea has caught on internationally. Not only does the White House issue a Presidential Proclamation, the United Nations posted about this year's Green Cities Earth Day theme (here). The astronauts on the International Space Station even released a special Earth Day message as the "luckiest people off the earth."

With the weather warming up, it's time to get out there and enjoy the land. Get out there and hike, bike, or kayak. At least, on this work/school night, take a walk around the block or to the park. Don't forget to bring a bag and pick up any garbage you find along the way.

If you are looking for a good everyday resource for all of those little things you can do, my favorite site for tips, ideas, and innovations is Tree Hugger.

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