How will you mark Earth Day?
TRI-COUNTY AREA—What does Earth Day, this Monday, April 22, mean to you?
Groups and residents are encouraged to be more environmentally conscious and reduce their carbon footprint. In addition to events scheduled around April 22, people are reminded to help the environment year round and not just on Earth Day. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, there are a number of things people can do around the house to help the Earth.
This ranges from reducing water use to driving less. The EPA explains it might seem like there is an abundance of water in the world, but states only one percent of water is fresh, usable water. The agency suggests fixing leaking faucets, which can waste thousands of gallons of water each year. People can also operate a dishwasher with a full load of dishes and not pre-rinse. The EPA says a five minute shower uses only 10 to 25 gallons, while a full bathtub requires nearly 70 gallons.
Driving less is another obvious way to help the Earth. The EPA suggests carpooling when possible, or using public transportation, walking and bicycling. This reduces air pollution and saves on fuel costs. The agency also recommends waiting to do several errands in one trip. When shopping, people can utilize reusable bags.
Recycling is one of the most common tips. Joe Gibson, owner of Cardinal Disposal which serves Penn Yan to Montour Falls, said locally people have been recycling more because it is easier. Many providers utilize single-sort recycling, which means people can put all recyclable materials together. Gibson explained this is due to a single-sort facility in Stanley, N.Y. According to Cardinal, the company has processed 58 percent more recyclable material in comparing 2012 to 2011. According to Cardinal, 290 tons of recycling was collected in 2012 and 184 tons in 2011.
Gibson said he expects this to continue. He explained he thinks in the next 10 to 20 years, technology will allow for a truly no sort disposal where recyclables can be extracted from garbage.
There are several events scheduled around Earth Day. In Yates County, Keuka College has several environmentally themed events, including last Sunday’s annual Celebrate Service, Celebrate Yates volunteer day. The college will host a discussion Friday, April 19 by attorneys who work with municipalities to enact home rule laws as a way to prevent hydraulic fracturing from happening. The event will be held in Jephson Hall room 104 at 3:30 p.m. Jephson is located at the north end of campus, next to Allen Hall.
The Penn Yan Public Library has been showing documentary movies addressing environmental issues leading up to Earth Day. The last movie will feature images of far off places and people from around the world, Monday, April 22 at 6:30 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.
Year-round, the Yates County Chamber of Commerce accepts nearly all electronics to be recycled, except items that contain Freon. This year, the chamber expanded to also accept compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs.
The group launched its free electronics recycling program in April 2009. The chamber office is located at 2375 Route 14A in Penn Yan. Recycling hours are Monday to Friday from to 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more, call the chamber at 315-536-3111.
In Schuyler County, the annual Green Grand Prix will be held, Friday, April 19, at Watkins Glen International. For a related story, see page 17.
All 4-H clubs and units encourage people and outside groups to organize tree planting events in April to celebrate Earth Day, Arbor Day, and Global Youth Service Day. Schuyler County 4-H suggests the weekend of April 20 and 21 for Earth Day, and April 26 to 28 for National Arbor Day and Global Youth Service Day. The 4-H suggests planting along local/county parks, schools, and churches; front or back yards; farms and ranches; and other public lands.
The Steuben County Department of Public Works offers programs for Steuben residents. The Bath Landfill, 5632 Turnpike Road, will accept a number of different recyclables. For free, residents can recycle up to eight tires at the facility one time only, Saturday, May 18, from 8 a.m. to noon.
There is no charge to dispose of agricultural plastics at the Bath location. Bunker covers, silage bags, bale wrap, and mulch film will all be accepted. The landfill takes electronic waste as well.