Sustainability Corner: A message of thanks from Mother Earth

by Jennifer Brunt
Horticultural Technician

Many of us at Riderwood are wrapping up a successful month of events centered around Earth Day in an attempt to increase awareness about the many challenges the earth faces. As we reduce the impact that our daily lives have on her, we need to realize that these efforts should be ongoing.

Many events shared information about our earth and her beauty. It has been a privilege to work with and meet everyone as we come together in a continuing effort to maintain and sustain all that our life-giving planet offers.

Much of this work is being done in an effort to utilize practices such as solar and wind power to provide renewable sources of energy. Reforestation and conservation help to maintain habitat for wildlife and pollinators, as well as clean air and waterways.

Proper disposal of litter and recycling ensures that our waterways remain healthy and continue to provide support for all creatures that are not only dependent upon them for survival, but also to thrive. Recycling reduces the amount of waste that fills the limited space in our landfills and lowers the demand to continually produce new products, further depleting our resources.

One of the things that many of us take for granted on a day to day basis is the “out of sight, out of mind’ disposal of items down our toilets and garbage disposals. Articles such as flushable wipes (which aren’t flushable or biodegradable) cause pipes to clog and degrade, and breaks down the equipment used in the treatment of waste water. Grease put down the sink continues to plague waste disposal facilities. Eggshells placed in the disposal are abrasive and wear them out much more quickly. The same holds true for equipment used in the treatment of waste water, not to mention adding to the ever-rising cost of water treatment. Contrary to what many believe, food left on plates would be more appropriately discarded by scraping it into a wastebasket. The food waste contains nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus that contribute to algae bloom in our waterways, therefore further degrading the health of our groundwater and the productivity of the Chesapeake Bay.

In closing, I want to thank everyone for your efforts that help support “Mother Earth” and for being mindful of the many small things that have the ability to make a lasting impact on the world around us.

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