Reflections on Green Up Day

Volunteers tend to the Shelburne United Methodist Church lawn on Green Up Day, May 3.
Volunteers tend to the Shelburne United Methodist Church lawn on Green Up Day, May 3.

By Laurie Caswell Burke

I found myself traveling to the middle part of the state for a work-related event on Green Up Day. I was struck by the multitude of people gathered on highways and country roads clad with green bags and gloves picking up trash. From my vantage point, they seemed to be enjoying what many may call a less desirable job. And, admittedly, I felt guilty not being among them. I vowed to do my own “Green Up” another day. Vermonters genuinely care about the environment. Our state’s annual Green Up Day offers people a structured day to donate time and energy toward clearing trash to make way for appreciating our fields, forests, and by-ways without unseemly clutter.

As Vermonters, we have a great deal to be proud of regarding our actions toward a more sustainable planet for future generations. As a writer of the monthly column “Living ECOnomically,” I hope we can let Green Up Day inspire all of us to continue integrating more sustainable actions into our daily lives. It will be different for each of us, but if we each focus on actions that work, we will make a difference. It may not be as noticeable as the day after Green Up Day, but it matters!

Try a carpool, ride the bus, ride a bicycle, use reusable mugs, compost, bring bags to the market, eat local food, bundle errands, and the list continues. I’d love to think that Green Up Day and Earth Day don’t just happen once a year but become an integral part of our everyday actions.