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The Gift Mother Earth Wants

Less trash for a start

Nash and Remy Robinson and Cub Scout Troop 532 clean up wetlands in Easton.

What are you doing for Mother Earth this Mother’s Day?
    Like many mothers of a certain age, she’s needing less, not more, except in the way of your attention.
    One thing Mother Earth needs no more of is trash.
    April clean ups of Bay and river proved this point. Close to a million pounds of trash were hauled from 525 Bay watershed sites by Project Clean Stream volunteers working with Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay. The 26-year effort of the Alice Ferguson Foundation puts that sum in perspective. Since 1989, volunteers have carried seven million pounds of trash from the Potomac River watershed alone.
    Some is big stuff, but vast amounts are the small stuff that gets away from us in everyday life.
    Americans use some 100 billion plastic bags each year. Last year, Potomac River cleaners collected 35,600 plastic bags plus 211,000 beverage containers. Stuck in many of those cups were some of the 500 million plastic straws used and disposed of in the U.S. every day — enough to fill 127 school buses.
    That’s trash on a personal scale, trash you can reduce before somebody else has to pick it up — or not.
    Joining the National Aquarium’s 48 Days of Blue campaign gives structure to your reduction plan. It challenges us to make small changes in our daily lives to improve the health of our oceans and Mother Earth. Campaigners are challenged via email, with a new goal every day, from skipping the straw in your drink, to shortening your shower by two minutes, unplugging electronics for 20 minutes or planting a tree. Join the challenge at