Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Love this Earth: Five Actions for Any Time —Carolyn R. Wilker

Photo by James Woo, at Huron Natural Park

A recent Record article, Windblown recyclable litter aggravates Kitchener couple, shows garbage blown against a chain-link fence. The couple, frustrated over the garbage blown into their backyard, contacted the paper and suggested that the Blue Bin be redesigned so that it has a lid. They’re getting tired of cleaning up the mess from week to week.

I’ve seen strong gusts of wind dump a can set out for garbage day, sending its contents flying onto the street, and things blowing from the recycling box. Scavenging racoons might also dump garbage, looking for a  late-night snack.
But not everything is blown by the wind. There are also the pop cans and plastic food wrappers tossed aside as people walk. What’s more, some of that garbage floats into gutters and ends up in our streams. Not a pretty sight and ultimately hurtful to wildlife as well.
 When my parents took us on an outing, my mother always took along a bag for any garbage we might have. All refuse was disposed of once we got home. We learned quite young not to litter. My parents owned a farm, took pride in their land and taught us to honour it too. Maybe that’s why garbage tossed about bothers me so much. We are after all the stewards of the earth. If we do not take care of it, we destroy a priceless gift.
This past week, I noticed a sign about an annual Earth day event at our local natural reserve. My husband and I have been to the place. It’s a peaceful place to walk and a great place to learn more about our natural history.
Earth Day Network reminds us to pay attention to our earth and offers us ways to rethink actions that impact the environment. Climate change is a hotly contested topic too, and we don’t have to go far to recognize things that have gone wrong.
We need to work at undoing the damage and returning the earth to the beauty it comes by naturally. It means protection of natural resources, such as the work of Streamkeepers in British Columbia, Canada, to protect the salmon, or in your own area by planting new trees.
 Here are five things you can do where you are to keep our earth beautiful and clean:
·         Keep a bag in your car or backpack and put your garbage into it. Teach children in your care to put wrappers from their lunch back into the lunch bag and bring it home for disposal or use the recycle and garbage containers at their schools.
·         Take paints, toxic cleaners to depots where someone will dispose of them properly. Pharmacies will take old prescription medicines and syringes, including epipens.
·         Reuse where possible. Cloth bags or lunch boxes and reusable shopping bags are a good way to cut down on garbage.
·         Bundle newspapers and use cereal boxes to hold smaller pieces of cardboard that have been flattened. Place heavy items atop light ones in the recycle bin (where these services are offered).
·       Make sure your garbage bin closes tightly so you don’t have to clean up after raccoons.

We all have a stake in our planet. While it may take time to turn around larger issues such as converting buses to electric or solar power and restoring our natural canopy by planting trees, everyone can do something. Even a young child can learn to put garbage in the right bin.
 This Earth day, I will be enjoying the natural beauty at our church camp, where we celebrate creation and our part as stewards of the earth. Enjoy the day and honour what was created for us.

“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” 
-Psalm of David 24:1

Carolyn Wilker, editor, speaker and author of Once Upon a Sandbox

 Come and see me at Waterloo Chapters, King Street N, Waterloo, ON, on Saturday, May 4th,  for a book signing from 11 am–1 pm. Once Upon a Sandbox makes a great gift for a mother or grandmother.


Peter Black said...

Carolyn, I'm in a full agreement with you in this. Thank you for laying the matter out clearly, with practical ideas of how we can all help. Our household has functioned much in the way you encourage. ~~+~~

CarolynWilker said...

Thank you, Peter. It's always good to hear your encouraging voice and your point of view. A lot of people do some things and yet so many say, "But what can I do to make things better?" Giving people choices is a good thing.

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