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Ways to Observe Earth Day Year Round

April 22 is Earth Day.

On April 22, 1970, people across the nation worked together through grassroots efforts to beautify their communities and raise awareness about environmental stewardship on the first observance of Earth Day. Read more about the history of Earth Day, written by founder Senator Gaylord Nelson.

Those grassroots efforts continue forty-two years later, as evidenced right here in Oconee County.

Yesterday, the Great Oconee Cleanup litter removal event launched a , sponsored by the Keep Oconee County Beautiful Commission, to spruce up the county.

Today, Fox's Pizza Den is hosting an to educate the public about recycling and tree planting.

In what ways do you and your family observe Earth Day? Share in the comments below.

While so much attention is given to the environment at the end of April, US Environmental Protection Agency reminds citizens there are ways to be environmentally conscious throughout the year. The EPA offers the following environmental tips on its website that can be implemented every day:

Save Energy

  • Reduce your carbon footprint! Leaving your car at home twice a week can cut greenhouse gas emissions by 1,600 pounds per year.
  • Don't idle! Remind your school system to turn off bus engines when buses are parked
  • It's electric! You can check how much of your electricity comes from renewable "green" power sources, such as wind or solar.
  • Tread lightly! Use public transportation, carpool, walk, or bike whenever possible to reduce air pollution and save on fuel costs.
  • Make your home an Energy Star! When you do home maintenance, also do a home energy audit to find out how you can save money by making your home more energy efficiency.

Use Water Efficiently

  • Make it a full load! Run your dishwasher only when it's full.
  • Be sensible! The Earth might seem like it has abundant water, but in fact only one percent of all water on the planet is available for humans.
  • Shower power! A full bathtub requires about 70 gallons of water, but taking a five-minute shower saves water by using 10 to 25 gallons.

Reduce / Reuse / Recycle

  • Compost it! Compost helps improve soil so it holds more water and plants grow better.
  • Proper maintenance reduces waste! Keep your appliances in good working order and follow the manufacturer's suggestions for operation and maintenance.
  • Don't trash it - reuse it! Be creative as you look for new ways to reduce the amount or kinds of household waste.
  • Just bag it! Help protect the environment when you shop. Keep reusable bags on your car seat or near your door so they are easy to grab when you go.

Environmentally Protective Choices

  • Protect yourself from sun overexposure! In summer, always apply sun block SPF 15 or more to protect your skin from solar UV radiation.
  • Read the label! You might not realize it, but on a pesticide container, the label is the law. Pesticide product labels provide critical safety information for handling and use.
  • During hot weather, don't top off your gas tank. Refuel your car or truck in the early morning or the evening when it's cooler.

For more details and additional tips, visit www.epa.gov/earthday/tips.htm.

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