ReconsumerEyes - A Tree Grows in Maryland

By Lindsay Loodle for Crispina ffrench Always on the look out for helpful ways to maintain the lifestyle I/we love while reducing the pile of waste at the end of the day, this weekly column showcases my findings to inspire our collective strive for a diminishing footprint. What do you use, or do, in your life that helps reduce the waste you create in your day? Suggestions welcome.

Arbor Day is just around the corner (April 26 – mark your calendars!) and what could be a better time to draw inspiration and take action towards replenishing the Earth. With our ReconsumerEyes, we’ve looked at green ideas for the home for helping reduce and reuse our waste. Today, our greenspiration comes at the state level.

Called the modern day Johnny Appleseed, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley received the National Arbor Day Award in 2012 for his efforts to bring about 40% coverage of the state with forests and trees by 2020.

The Governor’s Marylanders Plant Trees program launched in 2009, and has already succeeded in encouraging Maryland citizens to plant 101,056 trees – over 25,000 per year! By offering $25 coupons towards the purchase of native trees, the Governor has enabled tree planting to become the work of everyone. As he said in announcing the milestone of 2013, “There are some challenges so large we can only do them together.”

We believe that Governor O’Malley truly follows in the footsteps of Arbor Day founder, J. Sterling Morton, for making the Ethic of the Land a state priority and for leading the way towards “healing and restoring the common good we share with all natural beings.” Follow the progress of Maryland's Smart, Green and Growing initiatives by visiting www.green.maryland.gov. Then, tell us what you think other states should be doing to catch up, and who you think deserves the Arbor Day Award for 2013!