Green River Star -

By Debbie Hansen
Parks and Recreation Dept. 

Notes from Town Square: Earth Day's global significance


Earth Day is the day designated to appreciate the earth’s environment and create awareness of the issues that threaten it. Earth Day originated on April 22, 1970 by Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin. The first Earth Day celebration was inspired by the devastation in Santa Barbra due to a massive oil spill. This celebration was shared by 20 million Americans that day. Every year since April 22, 1970, Earth Day celebrations have grown. The Earth Day organized by Denis Hayes in 1990, went global. More than 200 million people in 141 countries participated.

Earth’s rainforests are being destroyed at an alarming rate of 100 acres per minute. Roughly 1 billion trees worth of paper is thrown away every year. That averages out to 13,000 separate pieces of paper being thrown away per household in one year. Another danger to the Earth is the improper disposal of plastic bags and other plastic materials. A majority of the plastic garbage ends up in our oceans. As many as 1 million sea creatures are killed every year, ultimately forcing some species to the brink of extinction.

Efforts to preserve the Earth require everyone’s assistance; from companies taking preventative measures to avoid oil spills and to reduce industrial admissions, to individuals reducing waste and recycling. Everyone has the potential to contribute to Earth’s preservation and even living a healthier life style in the process.

An example of a simple lifestyle change which would greatly benefit the Earth is to recycle. Americans throw away enough glass bottles and jars to fill a decent skyscraper every month. It takes the Earth approximately 4,000 years to decompose a single bottle. Two and a half million plastic bottles are thrown away every hour. Furthermore; by recycling one aluminum can, you can save enough energy to power a television for three hours. A can that is not recycled remains a can 500 years afterwards.

Walking is another method of contributing; by walking instead of driving short distances, each person reduces air pollution admissions. A great place to walk for recreation or simply to relax is to a park. Did you know that Green River has 28 parks? There is a park located within one half mile of every home. By packing a lunch and walking to a park, you are not only living an active and healthy lifestyle, but also helping to protect the Earth. Not sold on a walk in the park idea? Well grab your bike and take a ride along the 12.7 miles of pathways or head to the 3.5 acres Green River Bike Park.

If everyone commits to reduce, reuse, and recycle; together we can keep the “green” in Green River. Don’t forget to join us for Green River’s Earth Day Fair, Friday at Expedition Island from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.


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