As I was setting up this post I realized I didn’t know a lot about the history of Earth Day so here is a little information from the earthday.org website:
Barb: I can’t say we do anything extraordinary. We’re regular recyclers and our Massachusetts house is very efficient having been totally gutted and rebuilt ten years ago. We drive a small, fuel-efficient car. But all that just seems like common sense in cold, densely-populated New England. So instead, let me talk lobsters. I did a lot of research about lobsters and lobstermen (which is what they are called, even when they are women) for Musseled Out, the Maine Clambake book that comes out next week. I came away so impressed. The lobstermen of Maine take huge responsibility for the fishery. They’ve watched fish stocks collapse around them and they know the consequences to their living if it happens with lobsters. They can’t and don’t take lobsters that are too small or too big, and if they catch an egg-bearing female, she is notched with a V on her tail, so she can’t be taken even when she isn’t bearing eggs. The lifecycle of lobsters is complicated and poorly understood. The tiniest hatchlings (super lobsters) can drift for miles and miles before they settle on the bottom. As a result, the lobstermen and the Federal government have had many disagreements about how to preserve the fishery. But the lobstermen, who are all small businessmen, not corporations running giant ships, and who observe the fishery daily, have been consistently right. Now they are under threat from things far beyond their control–the warming and increasing acidity of the North Atlantic. Already the lobsters have moved northward and the shell disease that has devastated southern New England has crept into Maine. We’ll see what happens.
Julie: My house is energy efficient, I recycle, and I try to get foods and products that are good for the environment. But the biggest thing I do is that I rarely drive. I live in Somerville, so I get places by taking buses and trains. And I walk. A lot. Over 10,000 steps a day on average. I have not made the car free leap yet. but I drive under 4000 miles a year.
Liz: We’re big recyclers too. I wish I could say I didn’t have to drive much, but I do. I try to do little things, like pick up trash when I’m out walking, or participate in volunteer projects through my work to help beautify local parks or other areas.
Readers, what do you do to conserve the environment? How will you celebrate Earth Day?