So if you paid any attention this past couple of weeks, you probably saw a "Earth" theme going on.
On April 11th, my youngest sister and I spent 4 hours at a local state park "sweeping the hooch." Yes, we spent 4 hours walking the shoreline of Lake Lanier picking up trash. We found so many objects: pool noodles, assorted shoes, part of a coffee pot, bottles, Styrofoam, wheels, an easter egg, plastic flower pots, and a spool of thread! The task wasn't that terrible-- I felt like I was doing my part by making the park clean. Also, my ecology lab partner from last semester was there, so that was nice catching up with her. According to the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper (the organization in charge of Sweeping the Hooch), there were 500 volunteers and 14,320 lbs of trash picked up....now that's a lot of trash, people!
Anywho, National Park Week was from April 18-26 this year. During National Parks Week, the park entrance fee was waived hoping that more people would come out and discover the National Parks. Probably the most famous National Park in Northeast Georgia is the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. Now I didn't participate that week by visiting a National Park; however, I have visited a few before, and I would definitely go back and pay the fee!
Next event would be John Muir's birthday-- April 21st. Now, I'm no John Muir expert, but I do know that he was a huge part of persevering America's wilderness. You might have heard of him because he is the founder of the Sierra Club and some people call him "The Father of the National Parks."
The immediate day after Muir's birthday is Earth Day, April 22nd! Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970--so during the time of the hippie movement...lol! Anyways, I remember as an elementary school student, we learned about our part of Earth Day-- the 3Rs! Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Even if someone does the smallest act of sustainability, it is better than none! I don't care about your political views-- I think every human being should do their part to make the world a better place--whether that be use a reusable water bottle, cut down on plastic bags at the supermarket, carpool with a co-worker, turning off lights when you leave the room, throwing away your trash and not littering!!!! The list goes on, and it's so easy to be sustainable, but people just don't care or they're lazy! ughhhh
Next day I'd like to mention is Arbor Day--April 24th!! This day pretty much observes the importance of trees! Hello! These big guys help us breath, prevent erosion, and give us shade! I've always liked trees and always felt sad when trees got cut down. Yes, some trees aren't sturdy, ie. Pine Trees, and people want to cut them down so they won't hit their house in an event of an ice storm. But, I think people should have the mindset that if they cut a tree down, they should try to plant another tree somewhere else. Plus, it is always cool to watch a tree grow. Back in 2006/2007, I planted a red maple tree by our house; it is now 2015, and it has grown so much! Switching gears a little bit, I want to start identifying trees...I used to know some back when I was in Girl Scouts, but I never kept up with it. Boo.... Anyways, appreciate trees! Plant some if you can! Trees = Life!
Lastly, as someone who Geocaches frequently, April 24-27 was International CITO Day. CITO stand for "Cache In, Trash Out." CITO events encourage geocachers to pick up trash while they are out geocaching. On April 25th, I joined a few geocachers on Lake Lanier and picked up some trash on an island. On the 26th, I joined another group at a park off the lake in Dawsonville. Now Brandon and I always pick up trash when we are geocaching. We hate seeing trash on nature trails...it really defeats the purpose of "walking in nature" if you find wrappers, plastic water bottles, and cigarette butts on the ground.
Anyways, if you read this far, I hope you kinda-sorta get my point. Don't Litter and Appreciate Nature. Mother Earth is for everyone to share; therefore, it is everyone's duty to keep her clean. Though "Earth Month" comes to an end tomorrow, treat every day as if it were Earth Day. Pick up litter if you come across it. Think twice whether you should toss something in the trash or but it in a recycle bin. It's easy, and most of the resources are there!
Links for further reading:
Sweep The Hooch
National Parks Week
Map of National Parks
More about John Muir