Project: Save the Planet

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Published April 17, 2019
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The Montclarion
Rebecca Serviss | The Montclarion

With Earth Day around the corner, it is time for us students to take action – now. It is no surprise that after we leave college we will walk into the real world and add to the issues that cause our planet to rot.

We all know about the hole in our ozone layer and the oils spilling into our ocean, but sitting around retweeting content on Twitter or having discussions in classrooms does not make a difference for our planet.

In 2019, with the knowledge of where our trash goes and the effects of the chemicals we put in the air, we as humans should be more mindful of the products we use and the repercussions of our actions. We don’t want turtles to get straws stuck in their noses, nor do we want to see orangutans stripped from their homes and left to find new ones.

Problems like these are preventable. The same goes for us and the search for our new homes, which may be Mars, but guess what? We can do something about it.

In honor of having a day set for us to be appreciative of our home, here are five easy hacks that will make major changes for the planet we call home.

The first thing people can do is recycle. Reminders to recycle always get advocated, but what usually happens to it? More times than not, we know where it ends up. It is either in recycled plates, silverware, cups or plastic bins. However, what we don’t realize is that it can end up being used in places, such as printing paper or on turfs, and even used to hold our sodas and soups.

What I am trying to say is, remember to recycle. Without realizing, it does reduce the amount of trash we make and gets reused in the process. And, fun fact, pizza boxes can’t be recycled due to the fact that oil stains can’t be removed from the box during the pulping process.

Another way to take care of the Earth is by donations. Throwing away old clothes is wrong for two main reasons. One reason is throwing away old clothes adds to landfills, which we already know don’t need to be added on to. Another fun fact, according to planetaid.org, clothes can take up to 40 years to decompose.

When you throw away any old clothes, there is an opportunity that someone else can enjoy the same article of clothing that gave you the same joy, too. Rather than wasting years for an old sweater to decompose, donate and give it to someone who can take those same amount of years and enjoy it.

People can also look for alternatives. Instead of printing up papers for movie tickets, coupons or whatever it may be, always ask yourself, “Can I do this online?” I know, in 2019, most of what we do is done on technology, but it’s always a good reminder.

The same goes for water bottles. I know that I’m not the only one with thousands of water bottles lying around my bedroom. However, a better and environmentally helpful habit that we should all develop is investing in reusable stainless steel water bottles and straws. Buy one that best fits your everyday lifestyle. I can’t tell you how helpful and beneficial this is would be for our home if we all collectively make one small change in our daily lives.

Be a vegetarian for a day. According to vegnews.com, if collectively the country eats vegetarian for a day, about 100 billion gallons of water, 70 million gallons of gas and 4.5 million pounds of animal waste would be saved in just a day. To put that into perspective, if the country were to go vegetarian for a day then we would save enough supplies to make this country run on our own for months.

Not to mention, the decrease in animal waste will eliminate about seven tons of ammonia emissions, which is one of the worst air pollutants. Don’t just take into consideration the effect it will have for the Earth but on your health as well.

It is important to not ignore the pressing matters we face to save our planet. We see it everywhere, either on social media or the news regarding the effects of global changes. Even though changes happen in order for the world to progress, there were decisions made by us humans that we can still fix.

For Earth Day this year, try and change one bad habit into a better alternative. You never know the impact it will have on our home.

 

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