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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 (264 Articles)
I was a writer by trade so one would think letters would come easily for me. It is so now, but wasn't always that way. Indeed, the first letter was written the Monday after Ellen started her freshman year in college. For years I've wondered - with no good answers - why I swiveled my office chair toward my computer screen to fire up a word processing document for that first letter. I just don't know. I just did. Perhaps it was the angst of separation or wanting to say things that had gone unsaid at that moment when we parted ways in front of her college dormitory. What was a one-off became habitual. When her brother Reid enrolled in the same college, his name was added to the salutation line. They were kids then and are adults now. No matter. The letter writing habit remains so today. I live in Brevard, North Carolina. I'm well away from where they live and don't see them nearly as often as I'd like. That's why letters, at least to me, fill the void of distance. The pages give me something to say and the space to say it. There is no assurance they read the letters; indeed, I have never asked if they do so. With the pace of their busy lives who could blame them for letting a letter sit unopened? Over time, it has dawned on me that the letters are both communicative - and cathartic. By nature, letters are about the writer; the writer can only write about their situation. Perhaps that is as it should be. It's all about the here and now from one person's perspective.

4 Comments on Observations on Earth Day…

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