The very first Earth Day was on April 22nd, 1970, created by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson. It has been celebrated every year since.

But before that there was my Mother. We were taught even before 1970 to recycle newspapers, even before glass and metal and plastic. And it wasn’t easy to do. Nobody came by your house in a truck and picked the stuff up. You had to put the newspapers into your vehicle and drive them to a collection point. Then you had to load the newspapers into the back of a truck, and they had to be neatly stacked. It was labor intensive.

Earth day was started with the intention of raising awareness about pollution and taking care of the environment by reducing, reusing and recycling resources. And over the years, we’ve learning that those 3 words "reducing, reusing and recycling" are in a definite order. It’s not just enough to recycle. First comes reducing, then reusing before we recycle. Someday you’re at work with time on your hands google some of the ways things are being repurposed. Like plastic that has ended up in the oceans and is washing up on shores all over the world is being remade into furniture, fences and so many things.

It’s too bad that so many people still litter and there is so much trash on the sides of our roads in our beautiful state, but it’s encouraging to see people out in small groups picking up trash. Thanks to those doing this amazing civic duty.

The very 1st Earth Day was a school day, and many students planted flowers.  Now it is observed in about 200 countries with so many projects to improve our world.

Want to get involved? Grab a trash bag and a friend and clean up somewhere. Maybe you could join the Friends of the Lower Kenduskeag Stream (FOLKS) for its spring cleanup on Saturday the 24th from 9:30 a.m. to Noon. Or tackle another park or roadside in your area.

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