I've been driving by the landfill near Interstate 480 for 25 years. I can remember watching the landfill grow and thinking about those odd pipes sprouting out from the ground to let the gasses seep from the ground. I took an elective course not too long ago as a "filler" in order to get my last three credits to complete my Bachelor's degree. Environmental Science... why the heck do I need to take that? I'm 25 years old, I know the 3 Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle.
This course was an eye-opener. There are so many other things to take into consideration other than recycling. Burning anything- even our summer bonfires- causes carbon dioxide gases to be released into the atmosphere. These gases are what we now refer to as Greenhouse gases. Nature, being the amazingly complex thing that it is, has a process that consumes the Greenhouse gases to keep things on Earth regulated. Unfortunately, Mother Nature just can't keep up with the amount of carbon dioxide us humans are emitting to keep things regulated. This is when the gases start acting as a big warm blanket and temperatures start to rise. Even though the temperature has only risen about .5 degrees over the past century, there are more carbon emissions in the atmosphere than ever, and the concentration is rising.
I thought I'd pass along some inspiring resources to help everyone see that going green can be simple. It's a lot of little things that make a big difference!
First, I've noticed a trend at the bridal and baby showers I've attended this year. Instead of those fancy gift bags that will just end up in the trash, give your gifts in reusable shopping bags. Use blankets or kitchen towels in place to tissue paper. And, when you are only picking up a few things- don't get your milk in a bag and throw the other things in your tote or larger handbag.
Here are some good Earth Day reads:
US Energy Info Administration
Top 10 Easy Ways to Go Green
Cleveland Inks Deal to Design Small Power Plant to Produce Energy from Waste