NMU Conservation Crew leader discusses ways to celebrate 50th Earth Day

MARQUETTE — Earth Day is recognized each year on April 22nd. It’s a day to recognize the importance of protecting our environment and to work to keep the planet clean.

The NMU Conservation Crew is a group designed to engage students and community members for environmental projects. For the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the group is hosting a Litter Haul.

“We’re encouraging people to take a walk today, bring with them some gloves and a trash bag, and collect any trash that they see along their hike,” says NMU Conservation Crew co-leader Jacklyn Lenten. “Then we are encouraging them to take pictures of the trash that they’ve collected and share it on social media with their friends and family. It will encourage other people to get out and collect trash as well, and it will also bring light to any litter issues that we’re having in our community.”

Other activities you can do on Earth Day include participating in one of the many virtual gatherings online or through Facebook and watching a documentary about an environmental cause you want to learn more about. Lenten says a great way to do your part right in your own home is a household energy audit.

“You can take a walk around your house today and look at some of the electronics that you have and may not have used or powered on in a while, and maybe consider unplugging them,” says Lenten. “It’s especially important with electronics that are remote controlled, because they’re never truly, completely off and they’ll always take up a little bit of energy and electricity. So it’s great to unplug those things and conserve energy.”

While the coronavirus pandemic has been incredibly hard on humanity, the environment has had a chance to heal and grow without much interference. Lenten says that once the pandemic has run its course, we should continue to look for ways we can protect the planet and all the creatures living on it with us.

“There are a lot of species that are able to recover right now and a lot of climate change issues that are kind of self–healing right now, since basically the human world in on pause,” says Lenten. “Right now we have a great opportunity to take advantage of this situation and reset our relationship with the environment. Hopefully moving forward we’ll be able to grow alongside the environment and be codependent instead of ruling over the environment.”

You can learn more about the NMU Conservation Crew and the Earth Day Litter Haul on the Conservation Crew website or Facebook page.