Celebrate Earth Day every day

Celebrate Earth Day every day

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Last week, a Keep Opelika Beautiful board member called me about recycling. He was helping a business in downtown Opelika figure out what to do with their cardboard.

After several discussions we found a solution to this cardboard not being placed in the landfill, but I know this is a common problem. Opelika’s recycling centers on Jeter Avenue and 8th Avenue are temporarily closed to lessen the risk of COVID-19 to city employees. Previously, the recycling employees assisted in sorting the recyclables or unloading the items.

While the commercial cardboard collection route has been shut down, the curbside recycling is continuing; however, do not forget the good environmental habits you have established.

Even though Earth Day has come and gone, I do not think we need one day out of 365 days to be responsible to the environment. I was telling my children about this and compared it to my husband only telling me he loves me on Valentine’s Day! It might be a holiday to exchange gifts or flowers to acknowledge love, but there must be actions throughout the year.

In a time when life has been twisted and turned upside down, how do we continue to be good stewards of the environment? One Keep Opelika Beautiful follower on Facebook posted last week that she picked up litter along the road in front of her house. She posted pictures to remind viewers how pretty the green grass and wildflowers looked without cups, cigarette butts and other pieces of litter.

Besides 4 or 5 rainy days, we have had a beautiful spring. Go for a walk today. Take a grocery bag and pickup whatever trash you see. If your family tags along, try playing eye-spy to discover things you may not see from a car. Enjoy creation.

Before you leave for your walk, make sure all the lights are off in your house. My dad always told us his dad would make them pay a dime every time the light was left on. This plan must have been successful since my dad has never forgotten it. Turning off lights is an easy way to be environmentally responsible.

Many of the schools have contests for the most creative artwork reusing household items. My kids love to go through our kitchen recycling container to see what treasures they can find. Our oldest recently made a fish trap out of a milk jug. Our youngest claims cereal and granola bar boxes. He opens the boxes up and draw racetracks for his cars.

We do not celebrate Earth Day by chaining ourselves to trees or camping out in the rain forest. We can train our children to pickup a piece of litter. We can acknowledge the beauty of the seasons. We can plant trees that will be appreciated for years to come.

Let’s celebrate creation every day.

Tipi Colley Miller is the director of Keep Opelika Beautiful Inc. and writes a weekly column. Contact her at tipi@keepopelikabeautiful.com.

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