Protecting what makes Suffolk great

Published 7:21 pm Friday, October 22, 2010

It’s a shame that such an important issue has become so politicized over the years. If you’re for it, you’re a crazy, left-wing liberal. If you’re against it, you’re a crazy, right-wing conservative. I am, of course, talking about protecting the environment.

I’ve never been interested in politics. I vote, like any responsible citizen should, but I don’t follow parties or the gossip on Capitol Hill. Instead I pay attention to the issues, and for me, recycling is an issue everyone can support.

At its core, recycling is about protecting our natural resources, whether that means protecting a farmer’s ability to continue harvesting from the land or protecting everyone’s ability to enjoy nature through various activities, such as hiking or canoeing.

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In a place like Suffolk, which harbors prime examples of farming (peanuts, cotton, etc.) and nature (the Great Dismal Swamp, for one), protecting the environment seems like an important part of preserving some of the aspects that make Suffolk great.

Unfortunately, that hasn’t really been the case in the past. Recent efforts, however, are giving Suffolkians a chance to protect what is vital to so many of us.

Today, from 2 to 4 p.m., the Suffolk Clean Community Commission is sponsoring aluminum can recycling drives at Bennett’s Creek Park and the Public Works Operations Complex, 866 Carolina Road, as part of the Cans for Cash Recycling Challenge.

If you can’t make today’s event, you can still bring cans to the Public Works Sanitation Complex, 277 Pine St., or the Public Works Operations Complex, Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Dominion Virginia Power is also encouraging more customers to sign up for its Dominion Green Power program, in which customers add a charge to their account that helps support renewable energy in the state. For every customer who enrolls in the 100 percent option, which adds 15 cents per kilowatt hour to their bill, between Oct. 1 and Nov. 15, the company will also donate a tree to Project Plant It!, which provides tree seedlings to third graders to be planted in Virginia on Arbor Day.

I encourage Suffolkians to consider one of these easy options for protecting the environment. By doing so, we can protect the future of Suffolk, and that’s an issue we can all stand behind.