Celebrate Earth Day Week By Recycling And Planting Milkweed For Monarch Butterflies

(BLOOMINGTON) – What would our ecosystem be like without recyclers and, what would it do without pollinators?

Both are critical to our planet. Celebrate both by dropping off your recyclables April 22-26 and picking up one free 6-inch milkweed plant. MILKWEED PLANTS will be available at the Administration Building of the South Walnut Recycling Center located at 3400 South Walnut Street in Bloomington. Earth Day is April 22. That week the Monroe County Solid Waste Management District, (District) is providing free milkweed to help increase the monarch butterfly population (one free milkweed per family) to save monarchs and protect other pollinators. Milkweed planting continues to be done all over the country to help survival.
Community Outreach Coordinator Elisa Pokral says, “Since 2002 the Monroe County Solid Waste Management District has distributed tree seedlings every Earth Day week. However, in 2018 we distributed milkweed garden seed packets and this year we decided to distribute milkweed plants, being that pollinators continue to need help. The plants will be approximately six inches tall and are “Common milkweed,” Ascelpias syriaca, good for both Northern and Southern Monroe County. When you plant milkweed, choose a location at your home or business that gets at least six hours of sun per day. Information on pollinators will also be available. Pokral says, “Habitat loss, habitat fragmentation and degradation, misuse of pesticides, and invasive species are hurting our world and, hurting our food supply.” It’s reported that one-third of all mouthfuls in our refrigerator come from pollinators.
When picking up milkweed, also pick up a Gogreen Guide. Gogeen Guides are available at all five of the District’s drop-off recycling centers. Visit gogreendistrict.com/locations details. Pokral says, “In order for our communities to be sustainable, recycling is a basic. We must use wisely the natural resources that packaging materials and other items are made from, and recycle all that we can. Protecting and preserving our habitat for all life is vital.” When we recycle, we do not throw away our natural resources. Instead, we use them to remanufacture a variety of items. Paper becomes more paper, cardboard more cardboard, plastic more plastic, glass and steel more of those materials. Pokral states, “Some transformations will amaze you such as plastic bottles being remanufacture into brilliantly colored and long-lasting benches and deck furniture!” Plastic bottles can also become carpeting, countertops, and flooring. In doing this, the effects on our community are vast. These actions reduce trash, landfill methane gas, saves habitat, uses energy wisely, reduces climate change and decreases the amount of pollution made from virgin materials.
“We all depend upon fresh water, fertile, uncontaminated soil, clean air, and pollinators.” As Pokral explains, you can help our ecosystem this Earth Day week April 22nd through April 26th by not only continuing to recycle year-round but planting milkweed. Pokral says, “Every time people review what’s in their trash and remove recyclables, our world becomes healthier. Every time people review their yards and design yards with regards to wildlife and humans, our world becomes healthier.”
Pokral reminds others that planting for monarch butterflies also helps a variety of other wildlife which are also pollinators from bees, and birds, to beetles.
“Your daily actions are connected to the health of our planet. Your earth stewardship is vital to the mix.Treating the earth like a trash can makes not only our planet but ourselves unhealthy as well.” she says, “One basic earth stewardship action, along with designing your yards with other life in mind, is recycling. Taking one moment to separate recyclables from what is trash is monumental. So many positive things result from knowing what ISN’T trash and then taking action.
The District thanks all legislators and concerned citizens who strive to meet the state of Indiana’s recycling goal of 50 percent of municipal waste by 2019.” Pokral states, “When people take action, both at home and in business, it helps recycling be more efficient and makes our earth sustainable.”
Let others know about the District’s convenient drop-off locations and tell others about the importance of even the tiniest of creatures such as the monarch butterfly.
Pokral says, “We encourage the public to celebrate their efforts and that of the butterflies. Drop off recyclables at any of the District’s five recycling centers, and during the week of April 22-26 from 8 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. pick up a free Milkweed Plant (one per family). Stop by the Administration Building of the South Walunt Recycling Center located at 3400 South Walnut Street in Bloomington. Then choose a sunny area at your home or business and get planting.
Earth Tip:
Visit Gogreendistrict.com for the variety of District services available. Tours of District facilities are offered year-round to individuals and groups. Call 812-349-2866 for tours by appointment. District “Citizen Science”/environmental programs offered throughout the year help people of all ages understand the importance of being earth stewards and how our
actions can create a healthy community and world.