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Observations on Earth Day…

Of course, the singular Earth Day itself is rather limiting. We ought to think in terms of Earth Year or Earth Decade. At the rate we’re goofing up the environment/depleting and poorly disposing of resources, it might take an Earth Century to right our planetary ship.

Part of me wonders if we’re treading water or making progress. The scary part is that it may be neither.

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Apple announced this morning that it would offer to recycle any of its products. Not a bad move but if they want to put a dent in landfills, they ought to accept the discards of other technology makers, too.

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We recycle a paltry 9% of the 32 million tons of plastic waste the U.S. generates each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. That’s disgusting. Surely we can do better than that. I don’t mean just Americans, but the worldwide population. Talk about a business opportunity that goes begging.

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Speaking of easily recyclable plastics, look for the number 1 on plastic items. It means it’s made of polyethylene terephthalate (PETE), one of more readily recycled plastics.

Number 1 plastics include soda and water bottles and other household containers. After it’s been recycled, PETE can reenter the product chain in a variety of useful way ways: fiberfill for coats, sleeping bags and dozens of other consumables – including more plastic bottles.

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No post here would be complete without more photos of debris discarded by clods. It never ceases to amaze me that day after day, on the same 2.5 mile path, there continues to be junk to be picked up.

A few days worth of bending and stooping along my path. To be honest, it makes me sick but it has to be done.

A few days worth of bending and stooping along my path last week. To be honest, it makes me sick but it has to be done.

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A few days worth of reclaimed items. I get sick of this a lot of days.

A few days worth of reclaimed items. I get sick of this a lot of days.

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I have never quite come to grips with that apparent fact of walking life. People will always be morons – I am situationally so – but we are just culturally unaware/unobservant of our necessary role as stewards of what we have. I don’t know how we overcome that. Perhaps the best we can do is keep up our resolve to fight that good fight, one person at a time. If it means we clean up after others to lessen our collective environmental impact, so be it.

About Dave Bradley (254 Articles)
I'm the one behind two totally unrelated blogs; one on 15 years of writing a weekly letter to my kids (plus other recipients), the other on my localized environmental responsibility. I'm a writer by trade and both endeavors are accepted practice for me. As for the letters, my adult children Ellen and Reid may have seen letters as corny at one point, but it's accepted practice for them, too, to find something in their mailbox other than bills and junk mail. Email and texting don't do a lot for me for a lot of different reasons. Snail mail has its place in the communicative world so as long as they keep selling stamps, I'm buying. As for 'Pick Up Your Path' and the environment, I advocate what citizens can do themselves to take a direct hand in their neighborhood environment. But Pick Up Your Path is also a general environmental blog. It may be largely about litter and trash, but both of those are just one element of the total environmental picture.

4 Comments on Observations on Earth Day…

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