OSWEGO, NY – April 22 is Earth Day.
“In recognition, the Oswego County Environmental Management Council invites individuals, schools, and groups to participate in Oswego County’s Earth Week, April 15 through 24, with helping protect and preserve our county’s natural resources,” said Richard Drosse, Earth Week Coordinator for the EMC.
Sustainability, what does it mean?
Simply put, sustainability is the inter-relationship of the preservation and conservation of the earth’s ecosystems and resources with the prudent needs of society.
We can promote sustainability with basic acts preservation and conservation:
Turn off lights when not in use. Replace inefficient incandescent bulbs with newer energy efficient ones. New power strips have programmable timers for use with TVs, computers and media centers.
Follow the three Rs – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
Conserve water by using low water use shower heads and toilets.
Share a ride and limit the use of our vehicles.
Make homes more energy efficient by sealing air leaks and improving insulation.
Try and minimize the use of fertilizers on the lawn and use fertilizers with no phosphorus.
Rain Barrels and rain gardens conserve and utilize rain water that would have run off.
Plant native shrubs and flowers to deter soil erosion and aid pollinators.
Litter is an eyesore and pollutes our ground and water.
Help take part in a cleanup or project protecting our county’s environment.
From the EMC Earth Week website listed below, you can obtain participation forms and hyperlinks to updated materials about the projects and topics mentioned above as well as Earth Day School Projects and ideas, plus other environmental information or use the e-mail or phone number listed below.
You can even check your carbon footprint.
Check out the Oswego County Government website: http://www.renewoswegocounty.org/ to find rebates, subsidies, incentives and grants available to residents of Oswego County to lower energy costs and buy renewable energy.
Information on the new NYS Open Burn Law can be found at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/58519.html
The County Department of Solid Waste website http://www.co.oswego.ny.us/dsw.shtml has information about what can be brought to the solid waste facilities.
Electronics are included with no fee.
Helpful tips on recycling and composting are also listed.
Check the site for dates bringing in hazardous materials.
Batteries can always be dropped off. But, no wet cell batteries are accepted.
The Lions Club also accepts cell phones, which are then reconditioned and donated to non-profit groups.
The NYS Canal Corporation and Parks & Trails NY have designated April 15, 16 and 17 for the sixth Canal Clean Sweep.
Any interested groups, towns or individuals wanting to help maintain the beauty and keep our Oswego Canal Corridor clean should contact Wally Elton at: [email protected] or (518) 434-1583.
To help with Habitat for Humanity, Novelis asks that you donate any recyclable aluminum cans collected to the Cans for Habitat Program.
Local redemption centers will credit these cans towards the Habitat donation.
SUNY Oswego will host a Sustainability Fair for Green Living, Renewable Energy and Energy Efficient Home Building.
For more information about the fair, go to: www.oswego.edu/sustainabilityfair
Oswego County would like to acknowledge your participation and efforts.
If your group is in need of any of the listed items or would like photos of your project published, information and a participation form can be obtained from the Earth Week website.
Trash bags will be available upon request through the cooperation of Oswego County Building and Grounds.
Collection of the litter should be arranged with your city/town/village.
Roadside litter collections turned over to city/town/village for Earth Week can be disposed of with no tipping fee, courtesy of Oswego County Solid Waste.
A limited number of safety vests are available for those groups or individuals working roadside cleanups.
Work gloves, if needed, will again be available through a contribution from Novelis.
For information on obtaining any of the above needed items, environmental information and participating, go to: http://www.oswegocounty.com/earthweek.html
To view upcoming photos of 2011 Earth Week or view photos of last year’s events, go to: http://web.mac.com/oswegocountygreen
“While I have been Earth Week Coordinator for the last several years and in conjunction with Canal Clean Sweep, I would have to say that throughout the county hundreds of people have participated each year, in either doing a cleanup or some type of environmental project to help their community and our county,” Drosse, said.
In Oswego, Fulton and Pulaski many citizens, schools and college groups have been helping out with cleanups in the parks and around town, he added.
Phoenix has the Bridge House Brats that do a cleanup and plantings at the canal and park.
Towns such as Minetto and other communities have residents and students that volunteer for cleanups and plantings.
County groups such as the County Youth Bureau and Youth Advocacy have participated with cleanups and plantings at Camp Hollis, Camp Zerbe and Great Bear Recreational Area.
Different scout groups have taken part in Earth Week clearing trails, picking up trash and pulling invasive weeds.
The Youth Advocacy Council created Butterfly gardens at Camp Zerbe. They also helped build a bridge at Great Bear.
A Fitzhugh Park school group planted flowers at Washington Square Park for Oswego’s Project Bloom.
Oswego Industries has participated as well to improve the community.
A group of paddlers for the last couple of years has gone out onto the Oswego River and picked up debris and flotsam that has collected along the shoreline or was found floating down the river.
“How much trash was picked up? Pick up trucks were filled several times, dump trucks used, enough trash to sink a kayak was floated out and wagons were used to move over-filled giant garbage bags. Quite a lot,” Drosse said.
“Please forgive me if I didn’t mention everyone. There are so many members of our communities and groups that without fanfare, have gone out and done a cleanup, cleared trails, planted trees or put in native plant gardens,” he continued. “Thank you for your help and participation with this special countywide event.”