Five Simple Ways to Help Protect the Earth

With+Earth+Day+and+Arbor+Day+coming+up%2C+it+might+be+just+the+push+you+need+to+be+a+better+friend+to+the+environment.+

Photo by Akil Mazumder from Pexels

With Earth Day and Arbor Day coming up, it might be just the push you need to be a better friend to the environment.

Stephanie Martinez, Guest Writer

Get ready, Panthers! Earth Day and Arbor Day are coming up (April 22 & 24), giving you the perfect chance to head outside and help save the Earth! Although those good deeds will impact the environment significantly, why not start your journey in going green as soon as possible? Stick around and read this short list of ideas on how you can reduce your carbon footprint and save the environment. It may seem impossible that such small changes in your routine could make a change, but just remember the smallest actions can make huge differences!

 

  1. Conserve Water. There are quite a few different ways to reduce water usage. One way is to shorten the amount of time spent in the shower. Yes, we love our long, relaxing showers, but sadly they are a big percentage of our daily water consumption. Thankfully, you can shorten your shower time by just 2 minutes and save 10 gallons of water! However, if you are able to shorten it even more, by all means do so! Another easy way to decrease your water consumption is to turn the tap off while brushing your teeth or while scrubbing dishes, both saving about 5 gallons daily.   

 

  1. Save Electricity. Consuming less power/electricity decreases power plant emissions. Some simple ways include turning the lights off when they are not being used, switching to energy efficient light bulbs (LEDs), decreasing the amount of time spent charging devices, and washing as many clothes possible in each laundry load. Not only will this help the environment, but it will also cut down on electricity bills!

 

  1. Eat Sustainable Foods. This is arguably the most important way to save the earth, but it is also the most difficult. Animal agriculture is the leading cause of climate change, deforestation, ocean dead-zones, species extinction and wildlife destruction. Also, it is so water extensive that limiting shower time won’t have nearly as much as an effect. Eating a plant-based diet will reduce your carbon footprint up to 50%, but animal products have become such a big part of our daily meals that it seems nearly impossible to completely cut them out. You can start by eating less meat throughout the week or having fully plant-based meals one day of the week, then progressively decreasing your intake whenever you feel comfortable!

 

  1. Transportation. You’ve probably already heard of vehicles being major pollution contributors and increasing climate change. So, whenever you have the chance, walk or carpool to your destination. You will be reducing carbon emissions by not driving another car out on the roads, as well as conserving energy sources like diesel and gasoline. Not to mention you will most definitely be saving that gas money!

5. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Ah yes, the three Rs, engraved in our minds since elementary school. They are part of the waste hierarchy, teaching us how to cut down on waste and how to be resourceful. The first R means reducing the amount of materials consumed. If there is less waste, there is less to recycle and reuse. You can reduce the use of plastic water bottles and get reusable ones, print on both sides of paper to reduce paper usage, and stop using disposable utensils. The second R means to be resourceful of old objects and materials, or donate them so someone else could find use in them. This includes clothes, books, paper, etc. Lastly, recycling, the last step in the waste hierarchy (also the one you constantly hear about). Buy products that can be recycled or buy products made from recycled materials. Even throwing your papers in the green recycling bins in your classes is good practice for the last R.