By Misty Harris
Every year my high school alma mater does a national day of caring sometime in the spring. During my tenure as an alum board member, I heavily participated in this annual event. One particular year we organized a cleaning project with one of the local parks here in Buffalo. So off I went with my rake (it was a BYOR event) and met up with several other “volunteer cleaners” early on a cold, rainy Saturday morning. We split up into groups of four or five and began cleaning our section of the park. While raking, we picked up a lot more than just leaves. From bottles to things a little more on the dangerous side, we collected items that have no place on the ground. And while we and the other volunteers piled up garbage bags by the dozens, there was still lots to be done by the time my shift was over. I didn’t feel like I accomplished much but I did feel good about my efforts.
How are you helping to keep America beautiful? How did you celebrate Earth Day on Monday? I do little small things like shop with my cloth or reusable grocery bags. I try to keep one in my work bag or the trunk of the car just in case. I hate wasting plastic bags. Underneath my desk there is a huge paper bag filled with a collection of plastic bags that is now over flowing and will soon be on its way to a recycle center (Wegmans has a great one). Right next to that bag of plastic bags is a reusable shopper filled with plastic bottles. Thanks to a co-worker, I stopped buying bottled water and picked up a Brita filtered water bottle. It’s great and has become my must have item on a daily basis. And while I still have a bad habit of leaving the water running while brushing my teeth, I try other things like removing my iPhone/iPad chargers when I am not using them to conserve energy and I recycle the usuals (paper, glass, etc) on a regular basis. I have even exchanged my paper copies of magazine subscriptions for digital versions.
Want to start somewhere? If you’re a WNED l WBFO member, consider using the new WNED l WBFO Digital Guide. It features articles, videos and other cool things you won’t find in the paper version. The station’s going green and we need as many friends as possible to join us! Click here to take the first step. It may not seem like much but every little bit counts.
Every year I get an email from the park organization that I volunteered with that day. Within that email is a request for help featuring a picture of volunteers in action cleaning the park. One of the volunteers in the photo is me (much to my surprise and dismay) and while I hate, hate, hate the picture they continue to recycle each year in the annual email blast, it reminds me that I did some good for the Earth that day.