April 22, 2020 is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.
“It started back in 1970 as an educational event on college campuses talking about clean water, clean air. It led to the Clean Water Act the Clean Air Act the start of the Environmental Protection Agency and it continued to grow. It started in the United States but then went international,” Sarah Lance, Director of San Angelo Friends of the Environment said.
The Earth Day Network says an estimated 1 billion people will be participating in earth day activities this year, even if they’re done virtually.
“We are actually relaunching as SAFE after our collection facility close down two year ago. So we’ve got a new website that just launched we’ve got a kids activity book as well that we put on our website so there are some fun things they can do, color, there’s a word search, there’s a backyard bingo to get them back outside in their yard and give them something to go look for. We’ve got some social media going on so we’re going to be sharing some things you can do on an individual level that makes things a little bit better like thinking about your choices of things you purchase. ‘Do I really need to buy the cheap t-shirt for five dollars when it’s gonna fall apart or should I spend seven dollars and buy one that’s gonna last for multiple years?’ Lance said.
Another step is to be educated about which plastics are able to be picked up locally and which ones are not. Then you can put them in the correct containers.
“Just take that simple step of separating it out. It’s a little thing but it makes a big difference when everybody does the same thing,” Lance said.
For residents who don’t have the option for curbside pickup, there are still some ways you can recycle.
“Butts Recycling still has a lot of options for recycling there. They take aluminum, office papers, newspapers, I believe they take magazines so you can drop some stuff off there that’s not available in your curbside collection. Target, I know has a little drop off bin at the front of the store where you can take glass bottles. They’ll send those back to their distribution center and get them recycled there. So that’s an option not a lot of people know about but it’s a good one because glass is not an option for curbside recycling,” Lance said.
If you live in an apartment complex, reach out to the managers. Tell them you want recycling as an option and see where to go from there.
As for the overall health of the earth, reduce, reuse, recycle is working but there’s still more work to be done.
“We’ve made a lot of improvements with our earth, but we still have a lot of improvements we still have issues. We still have water pollution going on, we still have air pollution going on, we’ve still got climate change going on and the fact that Earth Day is still here and we’re still caring about those things is reminding us that we’re all a part of one big community,” Lance said.