Editorial: Picking our way to a better planet | VailDaily.com

Editorial: Picking our way to a better planet

Vail Daily Editorial Board
Vail CO, Colorado

The annual Community Pride Highway Cleanup is like any other community cleanup effort, except a lot bigger and better. On Saturday, 1,000 people dedicated a few hours to making Eagle County a cleaner place live and visit.

Each year the cleanup effort has yielded thousands of pounds of trash. Last year alone, volunteer crews picked up more than 45,000 pounds of garbage that was strewn along Interstate 70 and Highway 6. Certainly, the drive to work on Monday was a lot more pleasant because of their efforts.

The cleanup is one great example of a simple way anybody can help the environment. Things like solar panels and hybrid cars will steal the headlines, because they illustrate a significant financial commitment to saving the Earth. But not everyone can throw solar panels on their homes or trade in their paid-off minivan for a hybrid sedan.

However, most of us can switch out an incandescent lightbulb for a fluorescent, or throw that pop can in the recycle bin instead of the trash.

The nonprofit research institute, the Pacific Institute, estimates 17 million barrels of oil were used to produce all the disposable water bottles Americans used in 2006. Consider that and it’s easy to invest in a relatively cheap, reusable water bottle and fill it with free, perfectly drinkable tap water. Many Vail Valley residents already do.

And just about anyone can pick up litter, and thus prevent trash from polluting the Eagle River and from being mistaken for food by wildlife.

Highway cleanups may not top the national headlines, but they do make a difference. So thank you to all who participated in Saturday’s cleanup. As for those who didn’t, don’t let that stop you from picking up a little trash on your way back to your car after work today.

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