A new holiday, of sorts, was born April 22, 1970 with the aim of highlighting the importance of saving the environment. On Monday, people across the globe will celebrate the 43rd Earth Day, while here in Kent County, so many citizens have been putting its message of conservation into daily practice.
We live in an undoubtedly green county, and we don't mean the rolling farm fields and lush woods found in the countryside. There is a pervasive environmental consciousness here, with so many people taking to heart simple messages like “reduce, reuse, recycle.”
There are multiple sites around Kent County for paper, plastic and glass recycling. Full bins are not uncommon at recycling sites on the weekends, showing just how much they are used.
Beyond recycling, we find homes, farms and government buildings that have installed solar panels and geothermal wells, reducing fossil fuel consumption. We also see a lot of hybrid vehicles on the roads.
Our farmers employ practices to stave off nutrient pollution from running into our waters and others are converting to strict organic practices. Our watermen are on the front lines in the fight to restore the Chesapeake Bay.
As much as some may still complain about it, Chestertown officials were forward thinking when they banned plastic bags, opting for recyclable paper. Those who live or regularly shop in town have adjusted.
A couple of weeks ago, a group of Chestertown residents banded together to clean up the town's rail trail. Last week, we saw 37 volunteers at Turner's Creek, assisting with the Sassafras River Association's Project Clean Stream, tossing out tires and other debris.
It's encouraging to see so many people in the community engaged in so many different activities to protect the environment and preserve what makes Kent County such a beautiful place to live.
On Saturday, Chestertown and the Chester River Association will host an Earth Day Festival downtown featuring a recycled art show and information booths on local conservation efforts. Washington College has been running various Earth Day related activities all week and will continue through the weekend with a documentary presentation on Monday.
No one person will save the environment. We heartily commend all of those who are incorporating green activities both large and small into their regular routines. For so many of us here, Earth Day truly is every day.