Today marks the 50th observation of Earth Day, a day that began from concern about a deteriorating environment and the need to promote awareness.

Today, the chaos of the coronavirus pandemic has painted a different picture of the earth. With less daily human activity, animals have reportedly roamed into normally populous places like town parks and beaches. The air looks a little cleaner from India where the Himalayan Mountain peaks are visible to China, where smog often finds citizens wearing masks on a daily basis. Waterways in Italy’s famed canals in Venice are clear — but no dolphins or swans a-swimming, contrary to popular lore.

On the other hand, published reports indicate that the need for more sanitizing wipes, cleaning products and medical masks have led to an increase in waste, including in the form of littering. Additionally, more people at home means more use of electricity for lighting, entertainment and work with heavier use of the internet and computers. Unfortunately, some people just never learned to pick up after themselves or dispose of waste properly.

So what should we do to honor Mother Earth? Really, do what we can. Every little bit helps.

My family recycles everything that we possibly can, from plastic and paper to cardboard and cans. While we do not have a composting pile, it’s something that I hope to put in the backyard someday, along with a garden.

There is always the quest to save energy. I grew up hearing the words, “Turn the lights out if you’re not in the room,” “Turn the TV off if you’re not watching it” and “I don’t own stock in the PP&L” when it came to saving electricity. Today, my children often hear the same phrases. We do our best!

With more time on our hands, take time to make the earth a better place to live, work, play and relax. Recycle, reuse, clean up and conserve. Do these things together as a family. It’s never too early to start. Good habits can last a lifetime!