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Earth Day: Conserving water at Lake Tahoe key focus amid California drought

Margaret Moran | mmoran@sierrasun.com

Word on the street

While at Saturday’s event, we asked some attendees the following question: In honor of Earth Day, how do you help protect the environment?

Here are their responses:

• Peter Kozumplik, a food market manager living in Truckee: “Basically, making sure I dispose of things critically.”

• Anita Mulherin, a retiree living in Reno: “We try to recycle, (and) we’ve got a xeriscaping landscape.”

• Jessica Leggett, a stay-at-home mom living in Santa Cruz, Calif.: “We save our water, we like to grow our own food, and we carpool a lot with other moms.”

• John Merryfield, a painting contractor and founder of the Vegan 1 Day project living in Kings Beach: “Educating people how, through a plant-based diet and not eating animals, we can make the world a more kinder and sustainable place.”

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Earth Day facts

April 22, 1970: First day Earth Day was celebrated in the U.S.

Former Wisconsin Sen. Gaylord Nelson: He founded Earth Day in the U.S.

20 million : The number of Americans who participated in the first Earth Day.

First Earth Day results: Creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species acts.

1990: Year that Earth Day became recognized worldwide.

Source: Earth Day Network

OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. — Small individual acts can have a larger positive impact on the environment.

That was recurring theme throughout Saturday’s Tahoe Truckee Earth Day celebration at the Village at Squaw Valley, which attracted thousands of people, everyone from locals to visitors.

“I want to encourage people to not have that ‘Oh, I’m not enough. I can’t make a big difference’ (mentality),” said Missy Mohler, executive director of Sierra Watershed Education Partnerships. “Every little bit helps.”

Some eco-friendly practices were highlighted during the annual “Trashion Show” — in which local students showcased homemade outfits created from discarded materials, ranging from single-use plastic bags to tires — including using fewer single-use disposables, recycling paper and taking shorter showers.

“We can’t make a difference unless we all do it together.”Missy Mohlerexecutive director, Sierra Watershed Education Partnerships

“The Envirolution Club is asking you all to do one thing on a daily basis,” said club co-president Sarah Manthorpe during the Trashion Show.

Since Earth Day’s inception in 1970, Heidi Doyle, executive director of Sierra State Parks Foundation, has witnessed a change in people’s practices.

“It’s encouraging to see that for a lot of people it’s not just Earth Day, it’s Earth always,” she said. “It’s part of our lifestyle, so Earth Day just reminds us that we should make those lifestyle changes, and often times it’s just small ones that we have to make that can make a big difference.”

Yet, to make that difference, everyone needs to contribute, Mohler said.

“We can’t make a difference unless we all do it together,” she said.


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