We are all about trees this month. Georgia Arbor Day is each third Friday of February.
It is set as a great reminder to plant trees before the weather gets too hot. So think trees — and plant them — with us as we celebrate the benefits of trees on Feb 19 and 20.
To celebrate Georgia Arbor Day, Keep Liberty Beautiful, with the help of the Farmers Natural Foods and Georgia Forestry Commission, is again providing free 3- to 5-foot trees and planting instructions.
We encourage resident and, of course, civic and youth groups, schools, churches, businesses and municipalities to claim a tree while our supplies last. Contact Keep Liberty Beautiful by Feb. 15 to reserve your free tree. We ask only that you plant and care for them so the community benefits. This is one of many ways to grow our tree canopy. For more information or to reserve a tree, call KLB at 880-4888, email email@example.com or go to www.keeplibertybeautiful.org.
This year, we have white flowering dogwoods, a few maples and oaks, oleanders and crape myrtles — reds, lavendars, pinks and whites. We will distribute the trees from 9 a.m. to noon Friday, Feb. 19, at Farmers Natural Foods on Highway 196 and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20, at our three Recycle It! Fair locations: Liberty County Health Department, 1113 East Oglethorpe Highway, Walthourville City Hall, 222 Busbee Drive, and Midway Police Department, 10490 East Oglethorpe Highway.
Designate where you’ll pick up your trees when you reserve them. We try to have a few extra trees at each site, but supplies can run out fast.
We also encourage you to take a picture of your group or family planting the trees and email it to us so that we can add it to our Facebook and website. Photos may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trees benefit our community, but so does recycling, so plan now to bring recyclable electronics and household items to our Recycle It! Fair. Unless you dream of your grandchildren living in a world overwhelmed by garbage and landfills, I encourage you to start recycling now. That is what the quarterly Recycle It! Fairs are for, collecting items that cannot be dropped off at our area recycling sites.
Here’s what we collect:
• E-waste — Electronics, including computers, printers, monitors and accessories; stereo equipment and televisions; cell phones and accessories. Hard drives will be erased by Goodwill Industries. Small household batteries and printer ink and toner cartridges are also accepted.
• Paint — Cans need to be well sealed, not rusted and at least half full. If your cans are not in good condition, add cat litter or sand to the paint, let it completely dry, and then throw them in your regular garbage.
• CFLs and fluorescent light bulbs — Go to www.energystar.gov for more information on CFLs and other Energy Star lights.
• Motor oil, antifreeze and car batteries — At the Midway and Walthourville sites we can accept the batteries. We can only accept the oil and antifreeze in clean, disposable containers. Remember to always recycle motor oil and antifreeze with retailers as soon as possible.
• Household goods — Clothes and shoes are accepted in clean, decent condition. Paper products such as phone books, catalogs and all types of books.
• Prescription Take Back — Any old prescription medications and over the counter medications are accepted. Never flush these items down the toilet. These items can hurt our waterways and aquatic life. Hypodermic needles are not accepted.
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 75 percent of the garbage accumulated in America could be recycled. Yet our recycling rate hovers around 30 percent. We can do better than that.
For more information on recycling or Arbor Day, call KLB at 880-4888, email email@example.com or go to www.keeplibertybeautiful.org.
Swida is director of Keep Liberty Beautiful.