Celebrate Earth Day the entire year

By Ngozika Nwoko
Times-News correspondent

Earth day has been an event for environmental awareness now for more than 42 years.

Unfortunately, many people with their busy schedules cannot find the time to set one day aside to be more conscious about the environment. Because of this, many who are passionate about Earth Day have expanded its importance and awareness throughout the entire month of April. This event is known as Earth Month.

The idea of Earth Month, or environmental awareness even beyond Earth Day, has been conceived in order to challenge people to be more environmentally aware for more than one day each year.

Howard Tash, director of Team Alamance North Carolina Big Sweep, a nonprofit organization that has been inAlamanceCountyfor more than 25 years, said he believes the main problem with poor participation during Earth Day is people finding the time to be more aware of their environment.

“The idea of Earth Month has grown because of busy schedules,” Tash said. “This is a way to overcome that obstacle.”

Though many people may not have time to volunteer during city clean-ups or special Earth Day events, there are other numerous ways to get involved during Earth Month, such as unplugging devices that you are not using, recycling more, joining a carpool and being mindful of how much you drive, or even by drinking from a reusable water bottles in favor of disposable plastic ones.

“Really, anything you can do to reduce you carbon footprint is participating,” Tash said.

Part of the reason why the idea of Earth Month has grown in popularity is to make people better understand that it is not just important to be environmentally friendly for just one day each year, but to protect our environment year-round.

Participation in Earth Month is often not a matter of people not wanting to give their time, but more so that some people don’t recognize there is a problem. Tash said he believes the biggest problem concerning the impact of Earth Month begins with education.

“It is important for us to educate people, especially children, so that they understand what it means to take care of their environment,” Tash said. “Earth day is about being good environmental stewards, educators and accepting the social responsibility of taking care of our planet.”

Earth Month is a time where people can make the biggest difference by getting involved in their community. You can do this by participating in clean-up events with the Team Alamance North Carolina Big Sweep by helping to clean up rivers and forested areas with trash and debris or by attending the 2012 Piedmont Earth Day Fair from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 28 to help celebrate the richness and beauty of the environment.

For more information on the 2012 Piedmont Earth Day Fair, visit www.peaNC.org. For more information on ways to involved with the Team Alamance North Carolina Big Sweep, contact Howard Tash at howard_tash@netzero.net or at (336) 227-8015.

“I think we have to stop looking at Earth Day as just one day and start acting locally, responding regionally and thinking globally for the well-being of our homes and planet to develop a greater respect for the environment and its future,” Tash said. 

Ngozika Nwoko is a freshman at Alamance Community College and a Teens & Twenties writer.

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