Dulce Tricolor Venezolano
Dulce Tricolor Venezolano brought Venezuelan dancing to Plaza Park Sunday. (Dinah Cotton / Los Gatan)

Earth Day, which has now been around for decades, marks the anniversary of the birth of the environmental movement. Los Gatos’ annual “Spring into Green” event was held Sunday in Park Plaza, a day before—and in honor of—that important day. But then again, isn’t every day that we’re here on this planet technically an “Earth day”?

It made me wonder, what are we doing right now—today—and in general, to live sustainability? Are we aware of the impact of our actions? Are we seeking better solutions for environmental problems? On Earth Day, we pause, reflect and learn more about decreasing our individual contribution to waste.

Earth Day booths
INFORMATIVE The many kiosks at the event shared helpful information about how to live in a sustainable manner. (Photo by Johnny Eichinger)

As Edward Humes, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author states “Americans live in the most wasteful civilization in history. This goes way beyond what we roll to the curb each week. It’s rooted in what we eat and drink, and how we cook. It’s the main thing you pay for in your utility bills and at the gas pump.” He goes on to state, “Waste is so deeply embedded in our economy, products and daily lives that it’s hard to see clearly or to see at all.”

question of the week snap
Check out this week’s Question of the Week, where we asked people their opinions on Earth Day.

We are drowning in trash, and this is affecting every human around the world. At “Spring into Green,” the many kiosks had very knowledgeable staff to provide helpful information about actions we can take. Their message was that sustainability is not just something to consider during Earth Day. It’s more about what you do every day.

green bin
This contraption has been a recent addition to local kitchens. (Dinah Cotton / Los Gatan)

Used motor oil, for example, has to be properly disposed of: WWW.HHW.ORG. I learned it’s important to get rid of unused or expired medicine through the proper channels: www.med-project.org. South Bay Clean Creeks Coalition https://sbcleancreeks.com/, Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District https://www.openspace.org/, and West Valley Collection & Recycling www.westvalleyrecycles.com also had interesting booths.

Guess what? We can now access on-call bulk item collection up to three times a year. The mysterious “organics kitchen pail” was explained in great detail, though the instructions were pretty simple: empty the small bucket into your larger bin daily. Silicon Valley Clean Energy www.svcleangery.org outlined their many rebate programs, as well as how to save on charging an electric car. The Town of Los Gatos had a desk with information on ADU Standards, and Senate Bill 9 (SB 9) rules. Good to know the basics.

Christine Soper
Christine Soper discussed landfill diversion programs. (Dinah Cotton / Los Gatan)

A June, 12, 2019 post from the World Wide Fund for Nature highlighted a new study that found people could be ingesting approximately five grams of plastic every week—the equivalent weight of a credit card.

The analysis suggests people are consuming about 2,000 tiny pieces of plastic every week, or 250 grams a year.

pedestrian area
A portion of Main Street, at Santa Cruz Avenue was closed-off for Spring into Green. (Photo by Dinah Cotton)

And if that did not get your attention, according to the official Earth Day website: “Scientists believe that microplastics in our bodies may be responsible for everything from cancer to autism to Alzheimer’s to birth defects to falling fertility rates.”

Begin to educate yourself and do your best to recycle each day. Strive to be less trashy, and pay attention to the waste you make. When enough of us collectively work to save the planet, it makes a difference. We have resources to help us all do what we can all of the time—and every day. Hold the makers of plastic accountable and recycle what you can.

If we don’t take action now, you might be hearing a new question down at the ice cream shop in a few years’ time: “What’s your favorite flavor of credit card?”

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