Eco Friendly - Green Friendly - Earth Friendly
On April 22, 1970 our nation began to take a turn for the better by establishing what we know as Earth Day, a conscious human effort towards cleaning up our environment.
I remember when this nation celebrated the first Earth Day; it was back in the peace, love and hippy days of my youth. That day a great unified and organized call went out to stop polluting our environment.
I would like to take the time to address one of the simplest and cost free way we all make a difference. Most of the baby boomers remember the first prime time commercial about the evils of littering, especially the dear aging Native American dressed in traditional clothing standing along the highway with a tear running down his cheek, litter was disgracing the land his people once held so dear.
Today's "don't litter" commercials are public service announcements appearing on television in the middle of the night when most of us are sound asleep. That little "Give a Hoot," owl is well meaning although not seen enough, the Hooter's chain of restaurants gets more exposure than that poor little owl, please excuse the pun.
The first time I heard Earth Day's message I made a commitment never to litter and I have proudly kept that promise. Although I don't remember a time when I did litter, the concept of the earth as my personal garbage dump never made sense to me.
Because of the efforts of many earth friendly, passionate people, many more people are now aware of the issues and are striving to minimize pollutants wherever they can.
People envision these mountains as pristine, an oasis of beauty, unspoiled by mankind's dark hand. And, yes there are such pristine places within the majestic beauty and wilds of the highlands. Although, it never ceases to amaze us when we see garbage thrown along side our roads and waterways or in picnic areas and fire pits when trash disposals are just a short walk away. Who are these people and why do they think it is ok to throw their garbage anywhere other than a trash or recycle container? Although it isn't the most noticeable, one of my personal pet peeves are cigarette butts, regardless of what some might think....cigarette butts are not biodegradable.
About a hundred years ago these mountains were nearly completely laid to waste by uncontrolled logging. The U.S. Agricultural Department stepped in arming the Civilian Conservation Corps with tools to build roads, trails and millions of tree sapling to plant. They once again brought beauty and grace to these mountain slopes and their clean cascading waterways and lakes. The logging companies are no longer the problem, nor should it be the National Forest Service's responsibility to clean up after inconsiderate individuals. It is the responsibility of each individual visitor and resident to do their part to keep these mountains free of litter and pollutants.
We can all enjoy both the private and public lands of this vast and pristine high-country, partaking in the pure mountain experience. The beauty and serenity of these mountains are unrivaled, welcoming new comers and visitors each and everyday. It is the responsibility of every individual who also loves and respects these mountains to "help keep the mountains clean."
In our travels, we have noticed that the parks and forest services not only have trash cans for visitor's use, but many are also adding a variety of recycle bins dividing the options for paper, plastic and glass. Please take the few extra minutes it takes to sort your trash into the recycle bins whenever possible.
After decades of devotion to the cause we are not out of the woods concerning these matters, this is an on-going continuous effort we all need to participate in. Pollution is something mankind has created and only mankind can conquer the problem, one conscience step at a time.
Since the first Earth Day we have developed more titles to support our ever-growing concern such as eco-friendly and green friendly to bring attention to such matter as conservation and the elimination of toxic chemicals.
Get involved with the movement; it will take the masses to make a real change. As individuals we can make a difference, each time we make a responsible choice we enrich our life, our health and the future of our planet.
Respect the earth and the earth will respect you. "Give a hoot...don't pollute." Consider this a public service announcement from the Blue Ridge Highlander, and thank you.
Your Friends at the Highlander
Below are a few Helpful Hints and links to learn more about how you can become more Eco-Friendly and Green-Friendly