Droughts aren’t usually supercharged disasters like the monster typhoon that just smashed the Philippines. And they don’t compare with Superstorm Sandy, which unstoppably flooded the East Coast last fall. Droughts are only noticeable in extreme cases such as in California. But think about it. Droughts don’t demolish buildings; they just cremate growing things.
Water is incredibly precious, and the Earth has only a fixed, limited amount of it. We can’t live without it. Literally.
Americans use about 100 gallons of fresh water per day at home. But millions of people in poorer countries survive on less than five gallons, and women in such places walk an average of 3.7 miles to fetch water. To put things in perspective, have that thought in your mind as the water flows from the spigot in your home.
The Environmental Defenders of McHenry County and The Village of Algonquin are sponsoring the 8th annual “It’s Our River Day” celebration and clean-up. The event will be held on Saturday, September 19, 2015 from 1pm to 4pm at Cornish Park along the shoreline of the beautiful Fox River in historic downtown Algonquin. This is a local celebration of the statewide “It’s Our River Day,” now in its 11th year.
Local conservation groups will give brief presentations and participants will have the opportunity to meet representatives from different environmental, outdoor and governmental groups, as well as “green” businesses. Adults and kids will enjoy learning about the environment by visiting booths with educational information, volunteer opportunities, kids activities, and more.
The Sierra Club will provide bags and gloves for the shoreline clean-up at the main location at Cornish Park. Everyone is welcome to lend a hand with the clean-up. The event is free and open to the public. Groups are welcome.
For more information contact the Environmental Defenders of McHenry County at 815-338-0393; Cynthia Kanner, event co-organizer, at 847-309-8582; or The Village of Algonquin at www.algonquin.org/eco .
Recycle – YES! But to make a bigger and healthier impact on our environment, reduce and reuse first which keeps more stuff out of the landfill and reduces waste disposal costs. The challenge then becomes to reduce recycling as much as possible.
When making a purchase, consider how much of the container and packaging could be eliminated by reuse, and resist goods that have lots of extraneous packaging. Use reusable shopping bags, aluminum refillable drinking containers and bring your own container for leftovers. Say “no” to straws and Styrofoam and say “yes” to composting. Once produced, plastic and Syrofoam stay on the earth forever, so begin by being conscious of how much is used in the first place. Then, FINALLY, it’s time to recycle.
For one day or one afternoon or even one hour a week, don’t buy anything, don’t use any machines, don’t switch on anything electric, don’t cook, don’t answer your phone, and, in general, don’t use any resources. In other words, for this regular period, give yourself and the planet a break.
Every hour per week that you live no impact cuts your carbon emissions by 0.6 percent annually. Commit to four hours per week and that’s 2.4 percent. Do it for a whole day each week to cut your impact by 14.4 percent a year. See how it feels to switch “off” for a day, and you may just enjoy it, and at the same time, raise your awareness about the impact our actions have on our planet while making a positive contribution.
“Earth Overshoot Day” landed on August 13th in 2015 – “Global overshoot occurs when humanity’s annual demand for the goods and services that our land and seas can provide—fruits and vegetables, meat, fish, wood, cotton for clothing, and carbon dioxide absorption—exceeds what Earth’s ecosystems can renew in a year.”