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Once a year we celebrate Earth Day: a day to raise awareness of the harmful effects humans have on Earth and to reflect on what we can do to maintain and restore our environment. Here are seven simple ways that you can celebrate Earth Day today and every day:

Go Outside

Possibly the easiest way to celebrate Earth Day is to go outside and enjoy it! Whether it’s going to the dog park, hiking a local trail or even picnicking in your own backyard, spending your time outside is a good way to celebrate Earth Day. So go outside and appreciate the outdoors just a little extra today!

Walk to Class

Vehicles cause about one-third of air pollution in the United States, making vehicles the greatest attribute to the decline of air quality in the U.S. as well as a major cause of global warming. If everyone in the U.S. stopped driving for one day, 3.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions would be prevented. While that’s not a practical goal, you can opt to walk instead of drive whenever you can, especially if you’re just going a few blocks or less. Every little bit helps!

Use a Reusable Water Bottle

Plastics account for 80% of all pollution in our oceans, and a big portion of that is from single-use plastic water bottles. These plastics never really disappear, they just break down into tiny microplastics and float around the ocean, or even worse, end up being consumed by marine wildlife. It’s estimated that 100,000 marine mammals and turtles, and 1 million seabirds are killed due to plastic pollution every year. By purchasing a reusable water bottle instead of using single-use plastic bottles, we can work towards reducing the amount of plastics in our oceans and their harmful effects.

Buy Reusable Shopping Bags

Plastic shopping bags are another large source of ocean pollution, and their manufacturing is a major source of oil consumption. American’s alone use 100 billion plastic bags each year, requiring 504 million gallons of oil to manufacture. Both plastic waste and oil consumption can be reduced by simply buying and utilizing reusable shopping bags. They are very affordable and easy to store in your pantry or car.

Plant Something

This may seem a little cheesy but what better way to appreciate our planet than to grow your very own plants? Or, even better, help cut down on packaging and manufacturing waste from grocery stores by planting fruits or vegetables at home! It’s simple, fun to do and a great way to show a little appreciation for our planet and all it does for us!

Cut Down on Water Usage

The United States uses 322 billion gallons of water each day, which is greater than any other country based on population. Cutting down on water consumption can be as easy as turning the water off while you brush your teeth, reducing your time in the shower or making sure your faucets aren’t leaking or accidentally left on.

Watch Earth Day Live!

Earth Day Live! is an annual virtual event that consists of performances, discussion panels and informative topics used to educate and raise awareness of our environmental needs. This year, the theme is “Restore Our Earth” and topics will include climate restoration technology, reforestation efforts, regenerative agriculture and more. You can tune in today, April 22, 2021, at 12 PM to watch live on the Earth Day Website.

While Earth Day may only be a mere twenty-four hours out of the year, we should be mindful of our effects on the environment every single day and always remember to celebrate our Earth whenever we can. Afterall, there is only one Earth, and it deserves to be truly appreciated.

\"Our planet is getting hotter than Cole Sprouse\"
Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels

Kate is a sophomore Mechanical Engineering student with a concentration in Biomedical Engineering at Bradley University. In her free time, she enjoys shopping, watching Netflix, working out, creating art projects, and cuddling with her dog and two cats. Kate is the Assistant Graphic Designer on Bradley University Her Campus's Social Media Team as well as Public Relations Exec Chair for Epsilon Sigma Alpha, a member of Society of Women in Engineering, and a member of Bradley's Honors Program.
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