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Earth Day, Earth Year

It’s Earth Day! A day to look for ways we can reduce our environmental footprint. It’s the culmination of what’s been a big year. World leaders met in Copenhagen to discuss climate change. The Environmental Protection Agency finally came out on Bisphenol A (BPA), the president said he was going to allow offshore drilling.

Smaller but just as important: cities across the country started banning plastic bags, and recycling is way up. Washington D.C. saw plastic bag consumption drop from 32 million per month to 3 million once a plastic bag tax went into effect. Another great example: last month the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) announced its 2009 stats for paper recycling. A whopping — and record — amount of paper was recovered and recycled. Close to two-thirds (63.4 percent) of paper found its way to a recycling plant.

Meanwhile, plastic water bottles, which litter our dumps, are getting lighter and smaller, according to analysis by the Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC) for the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA). The weight of a water bottle is down 32 percent. The bad news, according to the same source: only 30.9 percent of all plastic water bottles are recycled.

Still, we’re talking about the environment. Most of us are doing something, too. Everyone is going to be writing a lot about the issue today, too so I’ll keep this short. But I did want to take the opportunity to thank you all for reading this blog and caring about the environment — and me. Have a great, green day!

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