Letter from Rep. Danou: When you're a farmer, Every Day is Earth DayEvery day many people make efforts to take care of our environment. This year, April 22nd gives us the opportunity to reflect together.
By: Rep. Chris Danou, Pierce County Herald
Every day many people make efforts to take care of our environment. This year, April 22nd gives us the opportunity to reflect together. Because our area is agricultural, Earth Day is particularly significant to us.
Earth Day has its origins right here in Wisconsin. In 1969, former senator Gaylord Nelson proposed the idea of national teach-ins to discuss conservation related issues. By springtime of the following year, groups across the country had embraced the idea. Sen. Nelson’s office estimated that over 14,000 events were held across the country in April 1970 on the very first Earth Day.
We are still committed to these values today, and many of us incorporate earth-friendly habits into our days without even realizing it. Business owners and farmers do their part to incorporate recycling programs and green practices into their business plans. Many business owners spend hours working with local and state officials to balance the needs of their business with the demands of the natural environment.
Farmers are great stewards of the land. They use generations’ worth of learned skill plus the benefit of new technology to conserve and protect the soil on their farms. They strategically plant crops to work with the natural contour of the land, rotate crops from year to year to reduce fertilizer use, plant grasses which serve as filters between fields and waterways, and plant trees as windbreaks to reduce erosion.
Some farmers have even begun using global positioning systems (GPS) for conservation. One company which develops this software for farmers says GPS reduces spraying overlap and gaps, thereby lowering fertilizer and chemical costs and minimizing the environmental impact. This is just one example of how business practices can be both earth-friendly and economically effective.
The fantastic beauty of our state provides many communities with tourism dollars. If we destroy these resources, tourism income will disappear with them. Conservation is clearly important to many Wisconsin residents. Wisconsinites have certainly embraced recycling to reduce the burden on our environment. According to the Wisconsin DNR, the average American generates 4.7 pounds of trash per day and recycles 1.4 pounds of that trash. Wisconsinites, however, recycle almost two pounds of their daily garbage.
You can visit dnr.wi.gov and search “recycling facts” for more information about recycling. It’s important that Wisconsin citizens have the resources available to develop good conservation habits. This Earth Day take the time to help make Western Wisconsin a leader in conservation.