Earth Day offers opportunities to make a difference

Five Rivers MetroParks is making it easy to do your part to keep the trails as clean as this one is at Englewood MetroPark. Free Adopt-A-Park service kits are available up this year, which includes enough materials for a family of four with gloves, bags, face coverings, a litter pick-up tool and step-by-step directions. CONTRIBUTED
Five Rivers MetroParks is making it easy to do your part to keep the trails as clean as this one is at Englewood MetroPark. Free Adopt-A-Park service kits are available up this year, which includes enough materials for a family of four with gloves, bags, face coverings, a litter pick-up tool and step-by-step directions. CONTRIBUTED

Credit: Staff

Credit: Staff

A healthy planet is not optional, it’s essential.

Earth Day, which began as a one-day event in the United States in 1970, has evolved into a global movement. EarthDay.org’s mission is to diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide. Half a century after the inaugural event, EarthDay.org is the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement – mobilizing more than 1 billion people worldwide – working with more than 75,000 partners in 190 countries to drive positive action for the planet.

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Earth Day is celebrated on April 22, but every day offers opportunities to make a difference. Five Rivers MetroParks is making it easy to do your part with free Adopt-A-Park service kits this year. Each kit includes enough materials for a family of four with gloves, bags, face coverings, a litter pick-up tool and step-by-step directions.

Traditionally a one-day clean-up event, Adopt-a-Park is the organization’s largest annual day of service, attracting as many as 2,000 volunteers who collect thousands of pounds of trash and recyclable materials. For the safety of all involved, amidst continued concerns about COVID-19, the MetroParks will distribute the free kits instead of hosting an in-person event this year.

“I think the flexibility that the service kits provide will encourage people to beautify their favorite greenspaces and, maybe, find new places in the parks to explore,” said Jenny Hymans, human resources and volunteer services manager.

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While the kits are free, registration is required at www.metroparks.org/adopt. Kits will be available for pick up on April 17 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at Cox Arboretum and Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark. Participants are asked to report how much trash they collect, enabling the MetroParks to track the impact of the project.

You can also sign up to take part in the EarthDay.org Great Global Cleanup. Visit https://cleanup.earthday.org/, sign up and clean up with family, friends or neighbors at a location of your choosing. It’s that easy.

For more information on Earth Day events or opportunities to make a difference, visit www.earthday.org.

Fast facts about global waste

270,000: Premature deaths annually caused by uncontrolled burning of household waste

2 billion: People live without any waste collection services

79 percent: Of all plastics ever produced have accumulated in the natural environment or landfills

SOURCE: EarthDay.org

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