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Earth Day 2025: How Far We've Come, More to Do

Mary Donahue, the protagonist of my edgy YA novel WINTER LIGHT, was 7 years old in 1970 when Earth Day was established in the US. I was six and still remember the commercials about how some factories were killing streams by dumping toxic runoff, and how people threw garbage out of their car windows. Lake Erie, one of the Great Lakes, was considered dead.

All of that changed with public awareness campaigns and better regulations. Other countries have done the same. When I traveled to Mexico City 30 years ago, my sinuses clogged up within 20 minutes due to pollution. Now I have friends return to say the problem has largely been cleared up.

I know people don’t like regulations because they’re costly and convoluted, but I’ve been in countries where there are few rules imposed regarding dumping, zoning, and manufacturing. What a mess, and more importantly, what a danger to the only planet we know that’s perfect for human survival.

So yay to all of you who are doing what you can to literally clean up our world!

Do you have a favorite kind of tree? Mine is the one pictured: the madrone.


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BLISS ROAD, a memoir


GROWING GREAT CHARACTERS, a resource for writers

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