5 things to do this Earth Day

Make a difference this Earth Day with one change or renewed effort to be part of a positive change for the environment. Earth Day began in the spring of 1970 to focus the American national attention on the environment. Do your part, from recycling to attending a local event April 24 at The ReStore in Brainerd.

Consider doing something this Earth Day, Thursday, April 22, as individuals and as families to better the community, the country and the planet by recycling, planting and supporting efforts to curb the amount of plastic that enters the oceans. Photo illustration by Metro Newspaper Service

Clean air. Clean water. Healthy habitat.

Even small actions have consequences. So on Earth Day, Thursday, April 22, the 51st anniversary of the creation of a day to focus attention on the environment, consider making a change — even one action — that will benefit the planet.

Reduce your use of disposable plastics, such as bags. Even in the lakes area, they end up attached to trees high in the air, clinging to ditches and floating in water bodies. There are options to recycle bags at retail and grocery stores. There are reusable bags and paper that will biodegrade. reports about eight million metric tons of plastic are thrown into the ocean annually.

“There are five massive patches of plastic in the oceans around the world. These huge concentrations of plastic debris cover large swaths of the ocean; the one between California and Hawaii is the size of the state of Texas,” reported on its website. “Every minute, one garbage truck of plastic is dumped into our oceans.”

Support efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle. Whether that is recycling at home, participating in recycling at work, there are steps individuals can take to help keep items like plastics from entering landfills and bodies of water. Recycling properly, and not using recycling bins to dump trash, is really a simple and easy effort. Look for products made from recycled plastic to support. Windex bottles note they’ve been made of 100% post-consumer recycled plastic since 2015 and now consumers will see bottles marked for 100% recycled ocean plastic. Look at options to buy products that do not include the excess packaging. The Crow Wing Food Co-op on Laurel Street in Brainerd sells food in bulk.


Pick up trash. Make it a family activity to beautify the block, a stretch of road, a neighborhood and pick up trash. Those long-handled grippers allow trash to be picked up at a distance.

Join The ReStore, Common Goods and Green Forest Recycling for an event from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, April 24, at The ReStore, 1110 Wright St. in Brainerd. Sort items to donate or recycle and make it an event. Cub Foods is supplying brats for a free-will donation.

Acceptable items for recycling include clothing, books, magazines, paper, cans, plastic bottles, newspaper, junk mail, cardboard. The event is organized by the Lakes Area Habitat for Humanity.

Lightly used items to donate for resale include clothing, books, decor, sporting goods, appliances, furniture, building materials. Donation guidelines are available at and .

Plant a tree or donate to efforts based on assisting with reforestation. notes “planting billions of trees across the world is one of the biggest and cheapest ways of taking CO2 out of the atmosphere to tackle the climate crisis.Not only do forests act as carbon sinks, but they also provide vital habitat for animals and ecological services for humans, such as purifying the air we breathe and regulating local temperatures.”

Renee Richardson, managing editor, may be reached at 218-855-5852 or Follow on Twitter at
Renee Richardson is managing editor at the Brainerd Dispatch. She joined the Brainerd Dispatch in 1996 after earning her bachelor's degree in mass communications at St. Cloud State University.
Renee Richardson can be reached at or by calling 218-855-5852 or follow her on Twitter @dispatchbizbuzz or Facebook.
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