Thursday, April 29, 2010

Secular Thursday: Earth Day

This post was meant to be posted last week, but I had a VERY busy day and the weekend got busier, so it sat in my drafts for the week until now...just pretend we stepped into our time machine and it's currently 4-22. :D

Happy Earth Day! Yay.

We don't actually do Earth day. We like to celebrate Earth month. I am Pagan and I view the Earth as my Mother, so I have a lot of respect for her. This month we dedicated to learning more about her and ways to take care of her. We learned about trees, flowers, and other plants. We learned about recycling and waste. Last week (4/14) we took a field trip to our county landfill.

It was a very cloudy and windy day, on the brink of raining, when we arrived at the landfill. Because of the weather, we were able to see first hand what the wind likes to do with all the garbage. We already knew there would be a giant pile of mess, but the wind had made a lovely giant scattered pile of mess. The bulldozers and trucks were busy scooping up dirt and dumping it on the piles of garbage to keep them from flying away. We were unable to watch the machine turn the garbage into bales because of this. What we did get to see was, of course, the lovely mess, and a pond at the bottom of the hill where all the rainwater collected. We were pointed out the recycling bins; mixed paper, cardboard, newspaper, aluminum, tins, and glass. --Did you know that the most expensive thing to recycle is glass? They have to pay about a third more to recycle glass than they do with any other material. We also got to see where they kept thrown-out appliances (a bunch of broken fridges, water heaters, and stoves), electronics (computers and the like), and toxic wastes. --Did you know that most household cleaners are not considered toxic waste? You can ask your local landfill how to properly dispose of them if you are unsure.

After the initial tour, we went and saw the original landfill. Lo and behold it is the giant hill right next to the current landfill. Who would have known that the previous landfill would be so beautiful? They lay a filter on the ground before placing the trash. Once the garbage is this incredible hill, they lay the filter on top of the garbage, add six feet of dirt, pack it down, add six more feet of soil, this time loose, add grass seed, and monitor water and methane for the next 30 years. THEY MONITOR FOR THIRTY YEARS. They have this little pond at the bottom of the landfill where all the rain collects so as not to get mixed into the Boyer river or any of the surrounding farm land. They get check these little yellow posts that are sticking out of the ground for any water contamination and a white post at the top of the hill for the methane. Apparently our landfill hasn't been creating any methane. After the thirty years are through, the landfill is considered safe and can be sold off for other purposes.

I think I was the one who learned the most and was the most excited. My girls were just happy to be in some random person's pick up truck looking at garbage and out of the house on a craptastic day. He gave us a video (which I have yet to sit down and watch) about what they do, how they do it, and how they are being earth-conscious, as well as a few pamphlets on recycling and how this particular landfill has helped be a little more greener.

So now, you should go check out your landfill and give Ma Nature some love.

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