Protecting Mother Earth; we’ve come a very long way

Lycoming County collected 487 tons of recyclable material in 2012.

That’s about 487 tons more than was being recycled when Earth Day observances began more than 40 years ago.

We’ve come a long way since the first Earth Day celebration in our appreciation of the environment and in our execution of ways to preserve clean air, land and water.

Regarding recycling, which barely existed in the early 1970s, we’ve moved through the curbside phase and drop off sites to a single-stream operation that will soon start, allowing all recyclable material to be stored and processed together.

Gone are the industrial smokestacks of the 1960s, which the children of today could hardly imagine.

Many of our cars are running on at least a hybrid of gas and electricity and mileage per gallon of gasoline is one of the prime selling points in the marketing of most vehicles.

The product you are reading is made of recycled paper.

There is a greater consciousness than ever about our environment, sometimes to an extreme point of attempting to prohibit fracking of natural gas when there is a system in place to make sure it’s done safely.

But that’s OK.

The public demands for such operations to be safe are a practical means of getting accountability from the state Department of Environmental Protection and the gas companies doing the drilling.

It is worth pointing out the carrot for environmental zealots natural gas is a much cleaner finished product for the energy menu than other alternatives.

Holding industry and agency feet to the fire is fine, but the product in question, if safely processed, represents a step forward in environmentally-friendly energy usage.

We’ve got one Earth and it’s difficult to protect it while meeting the needs of today’s society.

But we’ve come a long way in the mission of protecting Mother Earth.