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Invest in Our Planet This Earth Day

Friday is Earth Day and this year’s theme is, “Invest in Our Planet.” According to, “This is the moment to change it all — the business climate, the political climate, and how we take action on climate. Now is the time for the unstoppable courage to preserve and protect our health, our families, our livelihoods… together, we must Invest in Our Planet.”

The idea for Earth Day was the innovation of then U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson. He organized the first Earth Day after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California.

According to, “Inspired by the student anti-war movement, he realized that if he could infuse that energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda. Senator Nelson announced the idea for a ‘national teach-in on the environment’ to the national media; persuaded Pete McCloskey, a conservation-minded Republican Congressman, to serve as his co-chair; and recruited Denis Hayes from Harvard as national coordinator. Hayes built a national staff of 85 to promote events across the land. April 22, falling between Spring Break and Final Exams, was selected as the date.

Earth Day 1970 was special because it brought an uncommon political alignment, garnering support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city dweller and farmers, magnates and labor leaders. By the end of that year, the first Earth Day had led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. “It was a gamble,” Gaylord recalled, “but it worked.”

Now, over 50 years after of that first Earth Day, we are faced with a slew of new environmental concerns. Climate Change deniers, oil lobbyists, silent politicians, a disinterested public, and a divided environmental community all contributed to the narrative.

I figure it this way. Until we as a country can come together and realize we have one Earth and we need to take care of it, it’s up to us as individuals to do our part.

So what can you do this Earth Day and every day to contribute to bettering the planet?

We all know the old adage “Reduce-Reuse-Recycle”, and while that is a solid plan to live by, how many of are actually doing it? Make an effort to reduce your consumption of plastic, and if you do use it, please recycle it. If nothing else, it saves on your garbage bill! And there are a lot of recycling centers in the area, so there is almost always one on your way to or from somewhere. (I’ll include a list of local ones at the end of the article).

A while back, a fourth ‘R’ was been added to the list. That one is REFUSE. That’s right. Making a significant impact on the environment can be as simple as refusing plastic. Plastic straws, plastic cutlery, plastic bags. The more single-use plastic you can refuse the better.

The United States alone uses 500 million straws every day. That’s enough to circle the Earth two and a half times. They are also the 11th most found ocean trash and can take 200 YEARS to decompose. Most can’t be recycled easily either, so imagine the space that starts to take up in landfills?

At the end of the day, the less plastic we can consume the better we all are. That’s less petroleum being used in the making and fewer resources being used in the recycling process also. Plus, yes, less waste in our landfills.

Reusable goes a long way in protecting our environment and keeping trash out of our landfills. Reusable straws, cutlery, cups and bottles, grocery bags, etc., are all easy, affordable steps to cutting down on plastic pollution and reducing your own environmental impact.

We may have a long way to go in regards to convincing the powers that be that Climate Change is real and not going anywhere, so in the meantime, do what you can to make your corner of the world cleaner.

Getting back to this year’s Earth Day theme. Investing in our planet is less about the individual (although those efforts are needed and appreciated) and more about private sector innovation.

Apparently, nothing drives innovation quite like the private sector. According to, “It pays. Studies show a direct correlation between sustainable business practices, share prices, and business performance. Companies who develop strong Environment Social Governance (ESG) standards have better profitability, stronger financials, happier employees, and more resilient stock performance.

The government must also get on board to help make change.

“When it comes to climate change, money talks. Through regulations, incentives, and public/private partnerships, governments hold the keys to transform and build the green economy. Similar to the industrial and information revolutions, governments must incentivize their citizens, businesses, and institutions to build a resilient future. Ultimately, governments will empower green business practices as not only the ethical option but also the lucrative one.

“For example, in the U.S., clean energy jobs provide earnings +25% above the national median wage, and outpace fossil fuel extraction/generation jobs by three-to-one, employing more Americans than middle or elementary school teachers, bankers, farmers, or real estate agents. And yet, we still incentivize technology that is damaging our future growth. Globally, the fossil fuel industry benefits from subsidies of $11 million every single minute and over $5.9 trillion annually (and rising).
Imagine the impact of shifting to policies and partnerships that build a renewable economy. Tell your government leaders to launch the sustainability revolution TODAY.”

You can find links to back up all this information at

As is often the case, making the Earth a better, healthier, sustainable place to live, we all must work together. Individuals making changes to how they live, businesses adopting more sustainable and environmentally-friendly practices and government making that adoption easier to achieve.

If you want to start here at home, Noah’s Earth Clean-Up Day is in its second year, and if you live on the West End of town, consider helping out with the Newberry Community Clean-Up on Saturday at from 9:00 a.m.-noon. They are meeting at the corner of 4th and Diamond, and they will even give you pizza after, you can find a few more details on our Community Calendar on page 22! Blaise Alexander Subaru in Montoursville (pag exx), and Staiman Recycling near Wegmans (page xx) also have events to celebrate Earth Day this year.

Also, at home be sure to collect your recycling, and take it to one the centers listed below. But remember, KEEP THE RECYCLING CENTERS CLEAN and free of garbage! Tip of the day: if you don’t have buckets consider using those paper bags that you switched to from the grocery store. That way after you dump your recyclables, you can just drop the bags in the appropriate receptacle while you are there!

Lycoming County Recycling Centers:
Brady Township Municipal Building
Brown Township: Rt. 414, Near Brown Twp. Fire Co.
Cogan House Township Building
Franklin Township Municipal Building
Hepburn Township: Bair Park
Hughesville Municipal Building
Jersey Shore: North PA Avenue
Limestone Twp. (Oval) Township Building
Loyalsock Township: Boy Scouts, 815 Northway Rd.
Lycoming Co. Landfill: 447 Alexander Dr., Route 15, Montgomery
Montgomery Borough Municipal Garage
Montoursville Borough: Indian Park
Muncy Creek Township Building Rt. 422
Nippenose Township: Antes Fort Municipal Building
Old Lycoming Township: 1240 Princeton Ave. (Across from former Round Hills Elementary)
Piatt Township Building
Pine Township Building
Plunketts Creek Township: Fire Hall, Barbours
Porter Township Building
South Williamsport Borough: Winthrop and Front streets
Trout Run: Trout Run Fire Hall
Upper Fairfield Township: Loyalsock Municipal Building
Watson Township: Maintenance Building, on SR 44
Williamsport: 1550 West Third St.

Clinton County:
CCSWA Recycling Center, McElhatten
Bald Eagle Township Building
Beech Creek Borough Building
Castanea Township Building
Chapman Township Building
City of Lock Haven
Crawford Township Building
Colebrook Township Building
Gallagher Township Building
Greene Township Building
Lamar Township Building
Leidy Township Building – Crossfork & Tamarack
Loganton Borough Building
Logan Township Building
Mill Hall Borough Building
Pine Creek Township – Chatham Run
Pine Creek Township – Harrisland
Porter Township Community Building
Porter Township – Conservation District/Extension
Renovo Borough – 230 11th Street
Swissdale – United Methodist Church
Walmart – Hogan Boulevard

Other Local Drop-Off Sites:
Lewis Township Recycling Center, 1428 Rovendale Dr., Watsontown
East Buffalo Township Municipal Building, Lewisburg
Laporte Township Recycling Center, 4987 US Hwy 220, Muncy Valley

This may not be a complete list of drop-off sites and doesn’t include curbside pick-up, or places like Staiman’s that pay for your materials, but it is a good start for places to drop your recyclables.

This Earth Day, remember:
Reduce – Reuse – REFUSE – Recycle