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Growth in attitudes, practices needed to ensure brighter future

Growth in attitudes, practices needed to ensure brighter future
Growth in attitudes, practices needed to ensure brighter future
Judy O'Bannon

Yipes! Can the world slow down with its urgent cries? Miss a news cycle and you’re out of the loop on many developing issues. Politics, government, health and social issues are all changing at a fast clip.

It would be easy in this current situation to forget the slower creeping dangers of this planet, like the environment. This time of year, with all the recent rain, we see the soil oozing up life that has been dormant for the winter months. But, we are also aware of the dangers and damage caused by increased storms.

I watched top soil lost and erosion ditches deepen as the rains of the past weeks gouged scars through our fields waiting to be planted.

I was saddened to read that, in the Indiana General Assembly, bills concerning the environment had been set aside in order to spend precious time on what were called more urgent matters. Meanwhile, Indiana has a record of releasing more toxic chemicals and pollution per square mile than any other state in America. What could be more urgent than taking action to address environmental problems?

On the federal level, there is movement to dismantle the Endangered Species Act at the same time that we become increasing aware of the benefits of biodiversity upon our planet and our communities.

With the quarantining of people and events during the COVID-19 pandemic, we learn that air and water quality improved. There was less pollution of rivers and air as the result of burning fewer fossils fuels. But beware that with the efforts to pep up our economy and get people back to normal life, there is the danger of a power-use surge.

Few of us are going to seek an elected office ourselves, but that does not mean we have no options for taking action. Most of us have access to computers and can gain a more in-depth understanding of issues, especially when our activities in the general public are still restricted. Check out questions like “Why are invasive species of plants a problem and what can laymen do about it?” How about learning the benefits of trees in urban and rural landscapes? What really is “the green” movement and how does it concern you? What is this controversial  “fracking” of methane gas? We need to know the issues and find out the movement, or lack of it, that exists in our established governmental agencies and communities.

This is the time of year that volunteers are gathering to do civic clean-up projects, plant trees or organize interest groups around summer activities. Check to find groups or activities that interest you.

Let’s all keep our eyes and ears alert to actions that are proposed to address the problems of the virus pandemic. Let’s be sure where the money from the government in the COVID relief package is going. Does it fund what you feel is a responsible organization or practice in the fight against climate change and environmental destruction?

If your pre-COVID job is gone, what is a new prospect in clean energy that you might be able to fill? Look around your home or business. What do you see that you could alter to become more energy and water efficient? How can you simplify your stress level by reducing your usage of items or activities that use resources to produce? Increase your recycling.

There was a period when most of us became aware of the value of our time. We began to weigh what we could earn in a given hour against the increased use of disposable items and practices. An example was traveling alone in a vehicle rather than using a bike or a car pool. With the time saved, we could do a lot of productive work, we reasoned. When an appliance broke, we bought a new one rather than take the time to get the old one repaired. Maybe we would do well to reconsider quality of life as important as quantity of money in our bank accounts.

This spring, let’s stop and see if we can have some new growth in our own attitudes and practices that ensure a brighter future not only for nature, but for the human landscaper as well.

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