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I can do more to take greater responsibility for improving my community’s environment.

Shaman Elizabeth Herrera

park closedWhen I was a kid, I lived on an idyllic street in Lansing, Michigan. My street had a soft hill that gently ended at a park overlooking the Grand River. The park was refuge where the neighborhood kids and I would play on the swing set and grass, but even then, the water was so dirty that none of us would go near it.

The Grand River was a victim of the factories and car manufacturing plants upstream. (Lansing is home to Oldsmobile and many other part manufacturers. The R.E. Olds’ crypt is there.)

At that time, a well-known TV commercial aired, featuring a Native American, complete with feathered headdress, who cried watching the litter and pollution spew into the water, air and land.

Since then, most citizens have “cleaned up their act,” but corporations continue to dump and spill toxic oil and chemicals all over the place. In December, Shanghai ordered all cars off the road because the air was too polluted to breathe…

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