We all can play a part in securing the planet’s future | Editorial

This week The Beachcomber is recognizing Earth Day as we have for several years, by highlighting efforts by islanders to help our ailing planet in the Going Green special section. This week’s front page tells of a group that’s considering starting a community composting program on Vashon, something that would go a long way in making the island a more sustainable place.

The project is certainly an ambitious one. This group, still in the research phase, is considering a project to create not only a huge composting machine, but possibly a more complex and expensive system as well. The county, the company that collects trash on Vashon and island residents and businesses would all have to be on board with the plan, and millions would likely need to be raised. What’s more, this idea has been proposed before but never got off the ground. This time, however, many more islander are involved, including some intelligent and hard-working professionals. If anyone can lead the way in bringing this technology to Vashon, it’s this group. We hope islanders give them the time and support they need to determine if their dream is realistic.

A new report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change calls for global action to be taken by 2020 in order to stop the most devastating effects of climate change. On this week of Earth Day, it’s easy to feel as if our planet’s future is in the hands of large corporations and policy makers, and in many ways it is. But we all must play a part, however small, in slowing the harm that’s being done to our planet, and that’s exactly what members of Zero Waste Vashon are trying to do. Another page in our Going Green special section lists some things people can do in their everyday lives to conserve resources. As an environmentally conscious community, many of us don’t need these tips — we already understand the benefits of using fluorescent bulbs, planting trees or driving less. But how many of us do these things as much as we could? If offered the option, would we take time to sort out compostable trash and set it by the curb? We know the right answer, but often it’s taking action — or in Zero Waste Vashon’s case, spearheading an effort — that is the hardest part.

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