Earth Day

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Picking up trash from the road.I have instilled in my children from a very young age that we respect our Mother Earth. My children will be the first to call out anyone they see who may throw litter where it does not belong, and they are not shy. I feel proud in knowing that they take keeping the earth clean seriously.

On April 22nd of each year, also known as Earth Day, we have made it a tradition at some point during the day to take a family walk with gloves on and a large garbage bag in hand. We then walk up and down the streets of our neighborhood and collect all the garbage on the side of the roads. It is amazing how much we collect. Both sad and eye-opening to see how many people are littering, even in neighborhoods outside the hustle and bustle of city life.

While on this walk, my kids questioned why people cannot just hold on to their garbage until it can be disposed of properly and why many people do not respect Mother Earth. It is hard for me to answer their questions because it is something that I also do not understand. By littering, we are killing innocent animals who may eat things they are not supposed to, we cause toxins to get into our soil and water, and we cause the sides of our streets to be unsightly. 

Education is a vital tool to help reduce littering

We need to start with the youngest generations and educate our children on the proper disposal of trash and the detrimental effects caused by littering. Most littering occurs with notable intent, such as flicking something outside your car window, leaving trash on a table, dropping items where they don’t belong, etc. This is why education is key in preventing these careless habits, and in turn, we will be able to keep our communities clean and safe. 

If we all come together and do our part to properly dispose of our litter and/or participate in community clean-up, as my family does each Earth Day, we can better keep our streets clean, our wildlife safe, and toxins out of our bodies. And remember, when you can, please, reuse and recycle! 

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Melissa was born and raised in Fairfield County. She currently lives in Stamford with her husband and their three children. She works in Fairfield as a children’s mental health therapist, which is a dream job for her and brings more joy and fulfillment than she ever had in the corporate world. She spends most of her free time outside of mom/wife/therapist duties, on her Peloton, browsing the aisles at Target, online shopping, or enjoying nights out with her girlfriends. You can also find her on Instagram @the_storied_mind where she creates posts in the hopes of helping others and breaking the stigma for people to reach out for help in terms of their mental health.

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