Published Tuesday, April 21, 2009
By Jeff Bishop
The Newnan Times-Herald
Earth Day, celebrated each year on April 22, was founded in 1970 by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson as an "environmental teach-in" designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's environment.
"It is important for all of us to take the time to think about the positive impact of a green environment -- the aesthetic impact, as well as the environmental and economic impacts," said Newnan resident Rod Smith.
Smith said his local lawn service company plans to participate in Earth Day through the lawn care industry's "PLANET Day of Service," which occurs on the same day.
"This day of service was created by the lawn care industry to draw attention to the importance of green spaces, and so that its members could organize volunteer projects in their hometowns and also be part of an event with nationwide impact," he said.
His company plans to spend the day doing landscape maintenance at the Harper's Farm subdivision -- blowing, mowing, weeding, and going on trash patrol.
But there are many ways to celebrate Earth Day. Here are a few ideas:
* A new study has revealed that losing weight isn't just good for your health, it also helps the environment. So renew those New Year's resolutions to lose those extra pounds.
* Try purchasing your foods locally, perhaps by becoming a member of the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project or by shopping at a local farmers market.
* Form a "stewardship of the Earth" committee at your local church, such as that recently formed at Central Baptist.
* Participate in Senoia's Earth Day sidewalk art show on April 25 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. "The Art of Green" will include open-air booths of artwork made from recycled wood, metal, plastic and cloth. Booths will also showcase locally-grown produce.
* Urge your company to "go green." The William L Bonnell Company in Newnan recently installed a new acid-etched anodic coating process that decreased its sludge disposal output by 90 percent. Piedmont Newnan Hospital now recycles the medical waste generated by its operating rooms. Your company can find innovative ways to trim its waste, too.
* Carpool to work or school. It's not only good for the environment -- it also puts money in your pocket from the fuel costs you save. In Coweta County, two new van pools to Atlanta were added last year, taking up to 30 cars off the road each day.
* Start a compost pile in your backyard.
* Dispose of tree debris and yard brush in an environmentally-friendly way. Newnan Utilities recently opened a state-of-the-art facility that allows it to dispose of biosolids by turning them into safe and viable soil byproducts.
* Design your own reusable shopping bag. Some local grocery stores are holding contests offering cash prizes for innovative designs.
If you're a "Baby Boomer," you may already have a head start. "Socially conscious" shopping goals drive 54 percent of older Americans, according to a recent survey by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).
This means that more than 40 million Baby Boomers are also "green boomers" who say that they are more likely to purchase environmentally-friendly products and use services from companies that are socially responsible.