What can you do for Earth Day?

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The Flag of the Earth

Earth Day is April 22nd every year, which is a global activity for environment protection. It started from college activities inside of the United States in 1970’s, and this idea was brought to the whole world in 1990’s. On this day, people from around the world use their own way showing ideas about how to protect our world. But do you really know how important it is? Let’s start with some environment facts from WebEcoist.com:

  • Every day in the U.S., we produce enough trash to be equal to the weight of the Empire State Building.
  • Recycling one ton of paper saves 17 trees, 2 barrels of oil, 4,100 kilowatts of energy, 3.2 cubic yards of landfill space, and 60 pounds of air pollution.
  • The human population on Earth has grown more in the last 50 years than it did in the previous 4 million years.
  • Average temperatures will increase by as much as 12 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the 21st century if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise at the current pace.

A change has to be made, and we all need to do it together. As a college student, what can you do? Here are some suggestions:

  • Get reusable water bottles and coffee cups – I see students at cafeteria buying bottles of water and cups of coffee every day, and those are such of a waste of plastic and paper. While plastic bottles are now made with 30% less plastic, they are still an item that can’t be reused every day. You can totally bring your own water bottle and/or coffee cup to get your water and coffee. It’s not only sustainable, but also cheaper!
  • Walk or ride a bicycle – According to National Geographic, “Carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, is the main pollutant that is warming Earth”. Your car emits carbon dioxide while driving, which seeps into the atmosphere and creates global warming. When you need to go somewhere not far, try to walk or ride a bike! It is beneficial not only for our environment, but also for your own health!
  • Say no to plastic bags – When you buy something from the bookstore, please put it in your backpack, instead of asking for a plastic bag. When you go to a store, bring some reusable bags with you, instead of getting plastic bags there and throwing them out right after you get home.
  • Consider about the environment before you print – At college, we all have a lot to study and homework to do. If you can just save the documents in your laptop or your phone to read, it’s always better than printing them out with papers and also waste your time on it. If you have to print out something, see if you can print them out in a smaller font and space, and on both sides of the papers.
  • Be meatless sometimes – The meat industry produces nearly 20% of all greenhouse gases, and cutting down on the demand for meat reduces those gases. By cutting out meat one day or several days a week, you will help fight diabetes, curb obesity and reduce the risks of heart disease and certain cancers.

The Earth is the only thing we all have in common, and it’s a fine place that is worth fighting for generations by generations. If you want, everyday can be an Earth Day.

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