A visitor made his annual trek to Liberty County last week and shared his “trashy” view of the world with hundreds of local children. Dr. T, a self-proclaimed “trashologist,” talks trash wherever he goes. Keep Liberty Beautiful invites him to several schools each year to provide mini courses in trashology for local students. He never fails to get his message across, and he brings smiles to the faces of those in the audience. His entertaining — but highly educational — show fits right in with my philosophy about learning. Engage kids — and adults — and they will learn something whether they want to or not. The art of learning is really all about connecting with the audience. Dr. T, whose real name is Jack Golden, connects with his audience through good old-fashioned vaudeville humor.
Golden is a national environmental educator who lives in Massachusetts when he is not traveling across the country sharing his unique brand of education. He makes it his business to make people laugh and learn at the same time. His educational show, “Water, Water Everywhere” — one of four that he promotes — is a whirlwind mix of vaudeville and slapstick humor, juggling, music and fun that brings to life scientific facts and environmental messages about keeping our planet and our water healthy.
Students at Midway Middle School and First Presbyterian Christian Academy and attendees at the Liberty County Recreation Department’s after-school program benefitted from Dr T’s humor and knowledge when they spent part of an hour learning about water conservation, stormwater pollution and common-sense tips on being a water saver, not a water waster.
Golden paints an interactive picture of how trash or litter, which is trash put in the wrong place, has a negative impact on our world and, particularly, our water.
These tips for conserving water and disposing of trash properly every day are tips we can all use at any age. Our everyday choices make a difference in our environment. Here are a few gems from Dr. T’s trashology philosophy:
• Put trash in the right place and it will not become litter. The right place is a trash can or trash bag that is secure so litter cannot fall or blow out. It is not the ground.
• Another right place for trash that can be recycled is a recycle bin for plastics, aluminum, tin cans, glass, paper, newspapers, magazines and cardboard. Items that contain toxins, like electronics, also can be recycled.
• Don’t run the water while you brush your teeth (or shave).
• Take showers instead of baths.
• Take shorter showers. You can keep your shower under three minutes and still get clean.
• Install a water-saving showerhead and save even more water. These also require less energy to heat water, so that’s a bonus.
• Keep a pitcher of water in the fridge instead of running the tap for each glass of water when you are thirsty.
• Fix leaky faucets. You can lose more than 20 gallons of water a day from one leaky faucet.
• Toilets are the largest water-users. Consider a low-flow or dual-flow toilet to reduce the amount of water in each flush by half.
• Practice wise water use outside in your yard, too. In the summer, watering the lawn and garden can increase water use by more than 50 percent.
• Watering the lawn once a week is a smart way to use water. Also, water landscaping and gardens in the early morning — not in the middle of the day — so that water does not evaporate too quickly.
• Use timers, drip systems, etc., to manage water use in landscaping more effectively.
• Sweep or blow off hard surfaces like driveways and sidewalks — never use a water hose.
• Never throw or pour anything down a storm drain.
These are all easy changes that any of us can incorporate at home. Thanks, Dr, T, for helping all of us become expert trashologists!
Upcoming Keep Liberty Beautiful events
Make a difference this spring by participating in the upcoming events:
• Turn Up the Sole: In April, Liberty County will participate in a statewide shoe-collection campaign organized by Soles4Souls. This Earth Day initiative will give thousands of individuals around Georgia the chance to recycle their gently worn shoes. Since its inception following the Asian tsunami, Soles4Souls has distributed more than 17 million pairs to people in 127 countries. Instead of dropping your unwanted pairs in the trash, consider stopping by one of our local drop-off sites in April. We’ll have a special drop-off at our sixth annual Earth Day Celebration from 3-7 p.m. Monday, April 23, at the YMCA soccer field.
• Community cleanups: Flemington and Riceboro cleanups are scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Saturday, April 14. Flemington volunteers should meet at Flemington City Hall. Riceboro volunteers should meet in the Head Start parking lot.
Hinesville and Walthourville cleanups are Saturday, April 28. Hinesville volunteers should meet at 8 a.m. in Main Street Park. Walthourville volunteers should meet at 8:30 a.m. at Walthourville City Hall.
To volunteer for this year’s Great American Cleanup events, call Keep Liberty Beautiful at 880-4888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. All cleanup supplies, a picnic lunch for cleanup volunteers and free T-shirts will be provided.