DuBOIS — 254 million tons. That’s the amount of trash Americans generate in a year.
That was one of the facts presented at an Earth Day celebration Wednesday at Penn State DuBois in an effort to make the public more environmentally friendly, organizers said.
The Penn State DuBois Green Team and the Wildlife Society held the Fifth Annual Earth Day Celebration on campus with more than 30 vendors sharing earth-friendly information.
The event featured a “record number” of educational exhibits and programs on topics such as sustainability, energy conservation and more, according to Michelle Joseph, a member of the Green Team and a staff assistant at the Penn State Library.
Former U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson (D-Wisconsin) is credited as being the founder of Earth Day on April 22, 1970. The first global Earth Day was in 1990, Joseph said.
“At our event, we have examples of how you can use different positive approaches to make the world a better place for today and tomorrow,” Joseph said. “For example, use a decanter from a coffee maker which is no longer working. Take it and create a terrarium. Pick your glassware. Choose any type of container, open top or closed.”
Recycling was emphasized by one exhibitor, Goodwill Industries of North Central Pennsylvania, which will be having an open house soon at its Falls Creek headquarters.
Joseph stressed it is important for people to reduce, reuse, repurpose or recycle.
“I just read an article from USA Today about the plastic in the oceans. It’s bad,” said Joseph. “The problem is it takes about 400 years for plastic to break down, and when the plastic does break down, sea creatures are eating it. Think about it. They eat it, we eat them.”
Joseph said 22 billion plastic bottles are thrown out yearly.
Some of the other exhibitors included:
- The Department of Agriculture’s WoodMobile, a 34-foot display about the wood industry in Pennsylvania.
- The Clearfield-Jefferson Drug and Alcohol Commission educated people about a program that can help them dispose of leftover or outdated prescriptions or over-the-counter drugs.
- The Down to Earth Garden Club taught people how to create a butterfly garden.
- People could check in with Master Gardener Cheryl Shenkle, who could talk to them about creating and using compost to enrich their soil.
- Bob Michael was there to talk about the importance of bees in landscape and gardens.
- I-O Brockway Glass told people how glass can be recycled over and over again.