April 30, 2012

By Embassy of the United States of America Kolonia
The Kaselehlie Press

During the six days leading up to Earth Day, April 22, Pohnpei EPA organized an Island wide cleanup project. Starting on Monday April 16, two large dump trucks and a small pickup wound their way around the island to collect trash, which had previously been bagged and set alongside the road. Each Municipality and Kolonia was tasked with spreading the word that people should pick up the trash alongside the road and on their land. Altogether over the course of the week, the trucks made 45 round trips between the collection sites and the dump.

Events like this are great and commendable, but there is still much work to do. "The environment is something that needs to be taken care of daily by billions of individuals - including the 36,000 residents of the State of Pohnpei. Every one of us 36,000 has the power to make a difference, for better or worse, in the environment every day". US Ambassador Prahar said at the Pohnpei State Earth Day celebration on Friday April 20. "It's clearly much more efficient to prevent trash than to try to pick it up and dispose of it properly."

Earth Day was first created and observed in the United States on April 22, 1970, to highlight a growing public concern about ecological crises. Earth Day focused the nation's political agenda on urgent environmental issues. The US EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, was created as a result of the Earth Day movement. As a result of the work of the US EPA the US established a strong set of enforceable laws that protect the air, water, and land from industry and people who choose not to act responsibly. Today Earth Day is celebrated around the world and the movement is making progress in educating people and governments about the importance of acting responsibly and making a difference in preserving our Planet.