A few weeks ago my in-laws were visiting from Mississippi. I walked into the kitchen and found my 3.5-year-old son telling my mother-in-law that “all that stuff is not trash.” He patiently explained that some things go into the recycling bin. Two things struck me: I realized that other states do not offer residents a system that recycles as many kinds of items as ours and how fortunate we are to live in a place where a 3-year-old knows to separate his recyclables from his compostables and plain old trash.
The 42nd annual Earth Day celebration takes place this month. It’s a fantastic opportunity to expand our children’s understanding of how they impact the earth and what they can do to preserve it. Our community offers so many great ways to do this: the opening reception and family day for Judith Selby Lang’s Palo Alto Baylands installation, Water Lilies, a creation using recycled plastic water bottles; The GREENLIGHT Earth Day Film Festival at Cubberley Theater; Los Altos’ celebration at Westwind Community Barn featuring a presentation with live wild cats; the Annual Earth Day Cleanup at Ravenswood Point in East Palo Alto; and daylong Earth Day celebrations in San Francisco and Santa Cruz.
PAMP is dedicated to being eco-conscious. For example, our annual Rummage Sale gives members a chance to reduce and reuse. This year’s Rummage Sale, on April 14, provides PAMP members with an opportunity to find new homes for things their kids no longer need and allow others to benefit by reusing these items. Visit the PAMP website for more information, including how to sell your items, how to attend and how to volunteer. Can’t make it to the sale? The PAMP classified section on BigTent is another great resource connecting sellers, buyers as well as members looking to borrow anything from ski gear to CARES harnesses.
PAMP also showed its dedication to the environment by moving from a print newsletter to an online-only format about eight months ago. By eliminating the print newsletter, which used high- quality paper, PAMP reduced the amount of paper used (thereby saving trees), the amount of environmental damage from the printing process (fewer chemicals in our water treatment systems) and the amount of waste that ends up being thrown away or added to recycling centers (less gas for the trucks that haul it away, less space used in landfills and less cost to our cities for recycling). Plus, the newsletter now reaches an audience that stretches well beyond our membership to include anyone with Internet access around the world! Interested in writing a newsletter article so that you can be heard around the world? Take a look at our submission guidelines.
The world will one day belong to our children, and they need to be prepared. Kids grow up imitating us, so we must show them how to care about the environment and the effect we have on it in our everyday lives. Hopefully the lessons we learn and teach our children this month will last throughout the year, and beyond.
PAMP President 2011–2012