A month of rebirth after a long winter, one that some of us would say was too long!

April is also the month that we celebrate Earth Day. Each year, Earth Day is on April 22 – the date of the first Earth Day in 1970. That first step led to today’s environmental movement and key legislation that protects our environment like the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.

Earth Day is a global event that calls for all of us to take a careful look at how we go about our daily lives and consider ways that we might limit our environmental impact as individuals. This year’s theme is A Billion Acts of Green. Each of us acting individually can have a huge impact when you consider the effect of a billion of us acting together.

So, what can we do individually at the local level?

Are you aware of the opportunities for recycling in your area?

Recycling in Osceola County is dynamic and enthusiastic. More information about this county effort can be found at — www.osceola-county.org/Recycling/recycling.htm.

Many townships, villages and cities hold cleanup days in the spring.

Residents can bring their large items for disposal and these governmental units recycle many of the items. Contact your township, village or city to see if they will have a spring cleanup day.

Goodwill accepts televisions, computers etc. For more information, see their website at www.goodwillwm.org/recycle-reuse/recycle-reuse. Other stores have collection sites for plastic grocery bag recycling. Better yet, why don’t you obtain some canvas bags and transport your groceries in them.

You can get them for a small charge and sometimes free.

If you have a container of used oil sitting in your garage, contact a local oil changing business. Many of these businesses will take your used oil and recycle it.

For reusing opportunities check with your local churches and schools. Many materials, from screw-top jars to egg cartons can find use in arts and crafts activities in elementary classrooms, Sunday school classrooms, and Vacation Bible School programs. Also, consider donating working appliances and building materials to your local Habitat for Humanity.

Visit www.habitat.org to find a list of acceptable materials. Store sites in Muskegon River Watershed’s counties are located in Cadillac, Greenville and Muskegon.

What about reducing?

This is an area where you can choose to have the largest impact.

Have you switched yet to compact fluorescent light bulbs?

Have you considering turning down your thermostat – both on your furnace and on your hot water heater?

What about water bottles? You could buy re-usable bottles and fill them with tap water.

Most of these choices not only are environmentally friendly but also can help your household budget.

This April why not join the campaign and be one of the “Billion Acts” towards a more sustainable future?