Weekly Column #8: Doing Our Part For A Cleaner Planet Earth

As we celebrate Earth Day today, it is an opportunity to reflect upon the impact we all have on our environment, and beyond.

Little things do matter. While each of our foot prints may seem small relative to the world, all of those foot prints can add up to a significant impact. So whatever each of us can do as individuals today to lessen our impact on the environment, the better it will be for all of us in the long run.

Although Earth Day falls on April 22, it is important that every day we are mindful of what we can do to protect our environment – and there is plenty we can do.

For the past five years, I have partnered with Time Warner Cable, Sunnking Inc. and Confidata to host events in our community where people can drop off – for free – old electronics like televisions and computers to be recycled. People are also invited to bring confidential documents to be shredded and expired medications to be safely disposed off.

Our latest recycling event just took place April 16 in New Hartford, and our next event will be in Rome this fall on Oct. 1. These events are always bustling with hundreds of people stopping by, and I’m proud to see so much of the community doing their part to preserve the environment.

Last year, our two events collected more than 88,000 lbs. in electronics to be recycled and nearly 33,500 lbs. of paper to be shredded.

The more people recycle, the greater impact it will have. So it’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with what can or can’t be recycled, and then develop a plan to regularly sort those items. Larger appliances and certain hazardous household materials can often be accepted at transfer sites, so contact your local waste facility for their business hours.

There’s much more you can do, though. Sign up to go paperless with as much of your billing companies as possible, so you can pay your bills online and cut down on the paper that is sent to your home.

Instead of spending money on bottled water, buy a refillable bottle to reduce landfill waste. And fix any water faucets that leak at home, because that constant dripping on a widespread scale can cut into our very limited drinkable water supply.


Of course, walk or bicycle wherever you can, and try to carpool to and from work to limit use of our fossil fuels. Join a community group to clean parks, school yards or any part of your neighborhood. If there is no cleanup group around your area, then consider starting your own.

We will always have an impact on our surroundings. But by doing as much as we can today to keep our air, land and water as clean as possible, we can ensure that future generations will also be able to enjoy everything that Earth has to offer.