Editor and Publisher
John H. Walker
Earth Day, an observance to make people more aware of their surroundings and how their actions impact our planet, got under way 42 years ago and was first celebrated on April 22, 1970.
While many at the time gave credit for the establishment of Earth Day to the counterculture and hippies, it was begun at the behest of then-U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin.
Nelson, an environmental and conservationist activist, took a leading role in organizing the celebration, hoping to demonstrate popular political support for an environmental agenda. He modeled it on the highly effective Vietnam War teach-ins of the time.
And while it was first proposed in a prospectus to President John F. Kennedy in the early 1960s, Nelson decided against much of the top-down approach presented, instead favoring a decentralized, grassroots effort in which each community shaped its action around local concerns.
And Tarboro has embraced the effort.
There were a number of activities leading up to Earth Day, including an effort by 15 employees of Piedmont Natural Gas’ Tarboro Resource Center participated in a roadside cleanup project Thursday as part of Piedmont’s observance of Earth Day 2012.
Piedmont’s employees picked up litter along a two-mile section of Sara Lee Road near the company’s Tarboro Resource Center. The effort was part of Piedmont’s involvement in the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Adopt-A-Highway program.
“Piedmont Natural Gas is proud to join in observing Earth Day by helping to clean up part of our beautiful community,” said Yvonne Ellis, operations supervisor for Piedmont’s Tarboro division. “Today’s volunteer work is just one small expression of Piedmont’s ongoing commitment to building sustainable communities through conservation, encouraging the most efficient use of natural gas and other resources, and being a good steward of our environment.”
On Saturday, residents had the opportunity to dispose of electronics equipment well as paper documents safely and securely at a Community Paper Shredding & E-Waste Recycling event.
The recycling program, held in the parking lot of Lowe’s Home Improvement Center, was jointly sponsored by Edgecombe County, Keep America Beautiful Nash * Edgecombe, United Way Tar River Region and Shred-it and was well-attended, according to Kim Adams, document security specialist with Shred-It.
“It started a little slow,” she said, “but really picked up and is much busier than we were last year.”
And on Earth Day, a number of activities were held at St. Anne’s Chapel, including geothermal and solar power, energy-saving construction techniques and recycling.