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YRITWC Spring 2017

Earth Day- April 22, 2017
by Katherine Brower

Here are some ideas for Earth Day that you can use in our rural communities:

Tires; They take up space in the landfill and are toxic to burn, but they can also be used to make many things. If you stack them and add dirt they can be used as flower pots; they can also be stacked to be used as roadside sign holders; use a couple tires and put a flat top over them to make side tables for your living room; stuff it half full of old cushions to make a dog’s bed; use them for wall climbing or swings at the playground; replace old bumpers at the loading dock to protect the boats.

Old keys; Do you have keys that you don’t know what they’re supposed to open anymore? They already have a hole to hang on the wall so bend them to hold other useful keys; make wind chimes; weld them together to make an art piece; sharpen bent keys and make fish hooks.  

Old clothes; You can make aprons out of shirts by cutting the top and sewing on the waist with other material or add on other material for a full smock apron; Old jeans can make a hand bag and have the pants pocket for side pockets.

Old plastic bottles; Bottles can be easily made into plant starters or bird feeders; old gallon plastic bottles can be cut and used to hold various tools; larger bottles can be used as watering cans by poking holes on the lid of the bottle.

Old snow machine track; The best things reuse of old snow machine tracks I’ve seen are to nail them to sidewalks or ramps to help prevent people from slipping.

Photo of Gladys Johnson’s Grandson harvesting duck eggs, photo curtesy by Gladys Johnson.

Mother Earth all over the world is exhausted and tired. The land is full of manmade waste of all kinds. The Earth is responding to our excessive use of things and it is up to us to change.

Definition of “Waste” as a verb: To use or expend carelessly, extravagantly, or to no purpose.

EPA’s definition: Solid Waste means any garbage or refuse, sludge from a wastewater treatment plant water supply treatment plant, or air pollution control facility and other discarded material, resulting from industrial, commercial, mining, and agricultural operations, and from community activities.

Environmental concerns remained largely unheard of in America until the publication of Rachel Carson’s bestseller Silent Spring in 1962. “The book represented a watershed moment, selling more than 500,000 copies in 24 countries, and beginning to raise public awareness and concern for living organisms, the environment and links between pollution and public health” (  Earth day was founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson starting in 1970 as an environmental teach-in, later awarding him the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The celebration of Earth Day became popular internationally in 1990 when Dennis Hayes coordinated events in 141 nations that year.

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