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The Dos and Don’ts of Celebrating Earth Day

Friday, April 22, 2016, marks the 46th Earth Day! The first Earth Day took place in 1970 after Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson had the idea to create a national day to focus on the environment. The student anti-war movement inspired Senator Nelson; he believed that instilling the same social energy of the anti-war movement into air and water pollution could rally support for national environmental protection. A day devoted to the environment would represent a “national teach-in” about the natural world. The first Earth Day was a success. Twenty million people across the U.S., and at colleges and universities, advocated for a healthy and sustainable environment. The day ultimately connected many groups as they shared common values regarding topics such as pollution, toxic dumps, loss of wilderness, and pesticides. Furthermore, by the end of 1970, the United States Environmental Protection Agency was established and the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts were passed. Today, Earth Day extends all over the globe where more than one billion people each year fight for a cleaner environment and sustainable practices.

Conn Coll celebrates the environment and has a strong commitment to sustainability. There are numerous ways to increase your environmental knowledge and enact environmental change at Conn such as taking an Environmental Studies course or getting involved with the Office of Sustainability. In addition, you can participate in Earth Day by forming these 5 habits. Who knows?! After 21 days, you might be honoring Earth Day all year round with these dos and don’ts!

Do: Carry a Reusable Water Bottle

Plastic bottles are the WORST! After you finish a Poland Spring, chances are you throw the bottle out, or hopefully, recycle it. The bottle breakdown into smaller particles is problematic because the particles can be consumed by fish and transferred up the food web. Additionally, disposable products just add to growing landfills and/or add to growing trash in watersheds. Instead of continuously buying those Costco or BJ’s sized packs of water, buy a Nalgene, CamelBak, or other water bottle and refill it throughout the day at hydration stations or dining halls on campus. Similarly, if you need a coffee fix, then bring a mug to Blue Camel or other coffee shops on campus.

Don’t: Use Your Car Unnecessarily on Campus

Yes there are times when your legs cannot move after sprints at the end of practice or a strenuous spin class, but it is wasteful to drive to and from the AC and back to your dorm or Harris. Likewise, driving from one end of campus to the other for class or dinner just does not make sense in terms of the harmful emissions you generate with the car. Therefore, burn some extra cals by walking to and from the AC or enjoy time outside when strutting that Plex to Cummings, and vice-versa, catwalk. 

Do: Fill Your Plate with Vegan and Vegetarian Options

The production of meat and animal by-products influences climate change, wastes and pollutes water, causes deforestation, and contributes to food waste. Eat in Freeman and participate in Meatless Monday! Maybe even consider becoming a vegetarian or vegan.

Don’t: Feel Like You Have to Print Everything

Ask professors at the beginning of the semester if they want class readings to be printed out or if they will allow you to bring up readings on a computer or tablet in class. You don’t want to waste paper or printing money if you don’t have to! Also, if you do print a multiple page document, then make sure to print it double sided. A final tip: instead of throwing away old readings or documents use the open space to draft graphs, practice math problems, or write out foreign language vocab on the back or sides of them.

Do: Recycle

We are lucky to have recycling bins all over campus, so use them! Take part in the Lending Library and the end of the year Give N Go too.

Julia is a senior who loves writing for Conn's Her Campus chapter! While she is studying economics and environmental studies, she is also interested in fashion and beauty. Her Campus has allowed Julia to incorporate these personal interests into her weekly schedule.
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