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It’s time to ‘clean our room’

By Staff | Apr 28, 2021

To the editor:

“You can go out and play after you clean your room. You live here, remember?”

I can still hear my mother’s exasperated voice on Saturday mornings, my father growling in the background.  Years would pass before I integrated that message — you are responsible.   

When Earth Day was founded in 1970, 20 million Americans demonstrated in cities all over the country to draw attention to the growing needs of our environment.  I was not one of them. In 1970, I was graduating from college, heading to basic training and partying hard. I bet I left many more beer cans and cigarette butts in my wake than I am able to pick up today.

Earth Day, April 22, 2021, I joined Pine Island ROAR in a simple one-hour cleanup of trash along Little Pine Island. I had an opportunity to undo some of the damage I have participated in. We are all custodians of our Earth, and bear the burden of the disrespect that has been  perpetrated in our name. Yet, our country is starting to figure out what we must do to clean “our room” and it’s going to require the mature commitment of everyone. How will we do it? Buy in. Tell our Congress, local and national, that we must take strong action to pass the tough legislation that supports protection of our waterways here on Pine Island and in our global home.

We live here, remember? 

Mary Lewis Sheehan   

St. James City