Little changes can help our planet

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We like the idea of Earth Day and wonder why it doesn’t get more attention.

It is, after all, a day designed to generate support and heighten awareness of the need to protect the environment, and that’s a subject that affects everyone.

Who is not concerned about rising energy costs, the state’s ongoing drought, mounting litter and the need to find new, more cost-effective ways to do business?

We may think that there’s little we can do as individuals to find solutions to such problems, but the purpose of Earth Day is to remind us that the world is literally in our hands and that we can make a difference if we try.

The University of North Texas is emphasizing that point as it expands the traditional single-day event into Earth Week. Earth Day may have been Tuesday, but events planned in connection with the observance continue through Friday.

An educational forum designed to educate students and community members about hydraulic fracturing, commonly called “fracking,” is set for today, and local chef Mikel Lawrence will teach students how to make vegan sliders at the Mean Greens Cafe on Thursday.

The week will conclude Friday with a morning workshop on a new development concept called “Agriburbia” and a tree planting outside of the Murchison Performing Arts Center. A complete schedule of events can be found at https://sustainable.unt.edu/earthweek.

The goal of the weeklong observance is to get people thinking, officials said.

“I think everything has something that students can take away from the events, so I feel like Earth Week is what you make of it,” said Nicole Cocco, UNT Sustainability outreach coordinator. “Hopefully, you can gain a different perspective about sustainability, meet new people and start conversations about these things.”

We commend UNT for sponsoring these events, and we encourage our readers to investigate other opportunities to learn how they can get involved. Many local organizations, including Keep Denton Beautiful (http://kdb.org/) and SCRAP Denton (http://www.scrapdenton.org/) offer plenty of programs designed to point people toward community improvement.

You don’t have to adorn your house with solar panels or adopt other extreme measures to make a difference — such simple strategies as recycling, planting a garden, adopting effective water conservation techniques, turning off unnecessary lights, unplugging electronics and appliances when not in use, adding insulation and weather stripping and keeping a close eye on the thermostat can help save money, energy and other resources.

When you stop and think about it, there’s a lot individuals can do to make the world a better place.

That’s the lesson of Earth Day — little changes can add up to make a big difference.


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