Earth Day

It seems to be taken much more seriously

“Oddly enough the overriding sensation I got looking at the earth was, my god that little thing is so fragile out there.” — Mike Collins, Apollo 11 Astronaut

We found this quote from the Apollo 11 astronaut to be compelling. From our vantage point here on earth, our planet seems vast, but in the totality of the universe, it is a little thing and it is fragile.

That fragility is what must be considered on Earth Day — a time set aside to contemplate what we can do as individuals and as citizens of the world to protect it and its resources.

Earth Day was established in 1970, but it seems to have taken on greater meaning in recent years as talk about climate change and its effects dominate the news cycle. Whether one adheres to the belief that humans are the number one cause of climate change or not, we do have an impact on our planet.

We celebrate Earth Day in our Regional Section this week, which includes a list of activities that will be held across the county. There are also some helpful tips about what you can do in your own households to repurpose, reuse and recycle — especially when it comes to food — through bulk buying, careful planning, and effective storing.

There’s an interesting story about efforts in Portola by elementary and high school students to grow more food with tower gardens housed inside campus buildings. Students learn how to grow the food using minimal space, expand the growing season, and appreciate the taste of nutritious fruits and vegetables.

Many might be familiar with former District Attorney James Reichle, but did you know that he is the one who is driving the lime green futuristic car around town? He has been able to achieve as much as 75 mpg in his 2000 Honda Insight. Read about how he accomplishes that impressive, and money-saving feat.

Do you call an exterminator at the first sign of ants or reach for a can of Raid? Assistant Editor Victoria Metcalf did the former when she discovered a gigantic ant hill in her backyard, but then she learned something about this particular colony of ants. Read her story to determine what made her decide to leave them alone. They have their part to play in this fragile planet that we call home.

While the daily news brings more consequences with our changing climate and everyday living  — from severe weather conditions to catastrophic fires; oceans filling with plastics to skies filled with unhealthy air — it’s easy to become overwhelmed and to think “It’s too late.” But just as we drew inspiration from the Apollo astronaut, so are inspired and consoled by the thought offered up by Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

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