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franklin county times

Recognize beauty, help our planet 

It’s probably safe to assume you’ve seen some of the many ways spring is saying hello this year, and flowers are likely high on the list. They beckon from every corner. From wildflowers to tulips to fields of yarrow with their unmistakable bright yellow heads illuminated in the afternoon sun and everything in between, the earth’s beauty is all around us.  

While you may see it, do you really stop to notice it and truly take it all in, or do you hurry along the way? Too often, that’s how many of us live, always too busy to stop and think about what we are seeing and doing in a truly meaningful way. 

Saturday was Earth Day, an annual reminder of the need for each of us to pitch in and do what we can to help our planet through reducing how much garbage we generate, reusing items where we can and recycling and repurposing when we are able to do so. While it may sound like a lot of work, a lot of “little things” can really add up, especially if we all make a conscious effort. Pretty soon, it becomes a habit, and then it becomes easier to continue, increasingly less difficult to be and remain mindful as we go about our day-to-day lives. 

This is not to say you should never take a plastic bag, simply to suggest being mindful of your choices – and, if you do take plastic bags, either recycle them – some stores have convenient recycling bins where you can drop them off in the store – or reuse them by using them as trash bags or repurposing in some other way.  

A lot of items nowadays are individually packaged, often surrounded in a lot of hard plastic. Items like this can really make an impact by greatly increasing pollution when people buy them in large quantities. Their convenience is tempting, and I’m not suggesting I never purchase such items, but we can at least pause and consider, work on making informed choices and think how we might make a different purchase or reuse the container that would otherwise add to an alarmingly increasing amount of garbage in landfills and other places around the globe. 

When I was a child, a popular book was Fifty Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Planet. I never read all the way through, but I perused it on more than one occasion, and my main takeaway at the time was to consider using less, and to refrian from taking a plastic bag if I didn’t need it, but I’m not here today to suggest fifty or even five things to do.  

Just be more mindful. Do I need this? Do I actually want this? What will happen to it when I’m done with it? You don’t have to make a lot of changes all at once. Start small and keep going. Every little bit helps. Together, we can make a bigger difference than we realize.  

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