2018-04-22 / Editorial

Eco-friendly choices make every day an Earth Day

Today is Earth Day, an opportunity to draw attention to how we’re impacting our environment — both here in Lapeer County and globally.

We dedicated our INSIGHT package today to focus on this important issue — to offer insight into what local citizens, including students, are doing to leave this planet a better and more sustainable place. Whether it’s programs at Seven Ponds Nature Center in Dryden Township to appreciate the outdoors and wildlife, to picking up litter around local school yards or to recycle to reduce the amount of garbage bound for landfills there’s much we can do to improve the environment.

Through a partnership between DTE Energy and the City of Lapeer, Lapeer County is on the map as playing a significant role in the production of clean, renewable energy with two solar array fields in the city where 200,000 solar panels were installed. The $100-million project is now generating enough electricity to power 11,000 homes and businesses. DTE is also exploring the possibility of constructing a wind turbine farm in the northeast corner of Lapeer County.

Your efforts to protect the environment don’t have to be on a grand scale. No one is asking you to sacrifice your lifestyle or comfort, but rather think about your choices. There are simple actions you can take on Earth Day and beyond to become more Earth-friendly.

According to the federal Environmental Protection Agency, 6,000 single-use plastic water bottles are thrown away every four seconds in the U.S., and only roughly 20 percent are recycled. Each year, 17 million barrels of oil are used in their production.

The solution? Invest in a quality water bottle that you can fill up with tap water and cut down on waste and save money at the same time.

Many of your electronic devices and appliances, like microwaves, televisions and cell phone charges draw power from the plug even when you are not using them. Unplug them when they are not in use, or buy a smart power strip that will do this for you.

When purchasing a new appliance, look for the Energy Star label, consider products that run on natural gas instead of electricity, and avoid buying appliances that are bigger than you need (like oversized air conditioners and refrigerators).

Food packaging makes up almost two thirds of total packaging waste in the United States. All those cheese stick wrappers and yogurt containers add up. When shopping, look for products with minimal to no packaging. That means buying loose fruit and veggies instead of tomatoes wrapped in plastic and cereal that’s housed in just a bag (not a bag and a box).

Although it might seem convenient to grab a plastic bag at the cash register, make a more eco-friendly choice by bringing your own reusable bags — they’re way trendier than the plastic stuff anyway.

Rather than using a disposable Styrofoam cup to hold your coffee for your morning commute or at work, tote your own travel cup. Some stores and coffee shops provide discounts for bringing your own mug.

As the price of supermarket produce continues to increase, take matters into your own hands and learn to grow your own food. Those who grow their food without pesticides and herbicides also save the planet from extra air and water pollution.

Another option, in a matter of weeks you’ll once again be able to visit your local farmer’s market in Lapeer and Imlay City for a variety of locally grown foods. This way you can choose the fruits and veggies you want and see where exactly they’re coming from.

The earth is a giant ecosystem that deserves our protection. Any time you can reduce the amount of water you use, save on using gasoline, reduce the use of electricity, prevent items from going into landfills or save on natural resources, you help protect the environment in important ways.

Make Earth Day every day in the choices you make.

Return to top

Copyright © 2009-2018 The County Press, All Rights Reserved

Click here for the E-Edition
2018-04-22 digital edition

Unrestricted access available to web site subscribers

Subscribers to the County Press newspaper can now purchase the complete online and E-Edition of the paper for as little as $5 for three months. If you want a six month subscription to the online edition it is $10 and a full year can be purchased for $20.

Non-subscribers can sign up for the online version for $15 for three months, $30 for six months and $60 for an annual subscription.