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Each spring in late April Friends of the Jordan volunteers kicks off its Adopt-A-Highway cleanup effort on  its designated stretch of roadside along highway M-66. The event also coincides close to Earth Day.

Adopt-A-Highway is a Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) program designed to help keep the state's highway roadsides clean and attractive. Earth Day is an annual event, celebrated on April 22, on which day events worldwide are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection.

  1. The average American often tosses away 4.5 pounds of garbage daily. Major Waste Disposal estimates that the amount of garbage we toss, all together, on a daily basis, would fill 63,000 garbage trucks. This is why it's super important to reduce, reuse, and recycle — recycling helps us create more space, and make the most out of our materials and resources. Earth Day definitely pushes recycling, reminding us why it's important to take a second and put our garbage in the bins where it'd make the most difference.
  2. Earth Day didn't take long to catch on. In fact, 20 million people took part in the Earth Day activities of 1970, storming the streets to protest the industrial revolution. Unlike other starter holidays, people seemed psyched to celebrate it loud and proud. It's so big, that the Earth Day Network formed right around the same time, and currently works with 196 countries to help improve the environment.
  3.  It takes about a thousand years for plastic bottles to naturally break down. Americans love plastic. But, Americans sometimes have a tough time recycling plastic. In 2012, we produced roughly 32 million tons of it, but it was reported that only about 25 percent of it was recycled. While this is kind of a petty percentage, the act of recycling really hit an upswing in the '90s — it used to be much, much worse. With Earth Day continually pushing the act of recycling, we can expect that percentage to grow a bunch in the future.
  4. Recycling helps keep many jobs secure. When you're making sure to separate your recyclables, think about how many jobs you're helping to create — 2.3 million, to be exact. So not only are you helping the Earth, but you're helping many people stay gainfully employed.
  5.  Speaking of trees, we use between 650 and 680 pounds of paper a year. Earth Day is big with replanting trees, which is obviously good for providing oxygen, housing wildlife, and adding to the general aesthetic of the great outdoors. But, paper comes from trees — that's just a fact. And while we enjoy our Sunday funnies, it's important to know that 500,000 trees are used to create Sunday newspapers. And that's just newspaper. What about printer paper? While more and more offices are getting better with making sure to recycle the paper that their printers chewed up, there's still a lot of work to be done. After all, TIME reports that by recycling one ton of paper, we'd be saving enough energy to heat an entire home for half of a year.
  6.  Disney is trying hard to spread the message. Just a day before Earth Day in 2008, Disney founded "Disneynature," a company that works solely on documentaries about the Earth, and the animals that exist in it. It's located in Paris, and has released eight films so far. Its ninth is called Born In China, which will document endangered species found in China, and will be released on Earth Day this year. Its first film, Earth, debuted in America in 2009 and had the same exact premiere date.
  7.  Planting trees is important, since we're currently losing over 15 billion trees annually. Obviously it's important to try and cut down our paper usage, but replacing what we've taken is equally important. According to TIME, our global percentage of trees has declined by 46 percent since humans took over — and that's a lot. It's why Earth Day takes pride in making sure we hit new records with planting trees. It's definitely an important step in fighting climate change.