As I’m sure you’re aware, the planet is not doing too hot right now (well, it actually is too hot, and that’s the problem). Around the world, animals are losing their homes, pollution fills our skies and landfills, and we are coming closer and closer to irreversible climate catastrophes. While I feel that a major part of the blame is on large corporations, we can all do our part to help heal the Earth. This is easier said than done, especially for busy and broke college students. We don’t necessarily have time to repair an old sneaker that’s falling apart, nor do we have the resources to start growing vegetables at home. Thus, I have compiled a few easy ways to help the Earth (and hopefully your wallet too)!
- Attend Earth Day Bash: Endangered World
Earth Day 2023 will be held on Friday, April 21 from 8:00-11:59 PM, and the Office of Student Activities and Greek Life is hosting an event in the Attic to celebrate! That Friday is also the start of Springfest, so it’s a great way to kick off the weekend. Register here, and hopefully, I’ll see you there!
- Volunteer at Painted TUrtle farm
If partying isn’t your scene, there are plenty of other ways to celebrate this amazing day! If you haven’t heard of Painted Turtle, it is our campus/community garden where students and locals work together to grow fresh produce for food-insecure families in Adams County. To learn more, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. What better way to celebrate Earth Day than getting your hands a little dirty and helping the community!
- Shop Local
I will admit, it’s so easy to just order something online instead of going to the store to buy it. While a reason for my online shopping addition is because I don’t have a car on campus, that doesn’t lessen the impact of my shopping habits on the environment. Online shopping wastes resources on the packaging, and delivering these packages fills our skies with pollution.
As much as you can, I challenge you (and myself of course) to shop local. If you don’t have a car on campus like me, you can go to our local grocery store, Kennie’s Market. It’s only a ten-minute walk from campus and a five-minute bike ride. If you don’t have a bike, you can also take advantage of the bike share program on campus to do your shopping! Besides Kennie’s, there are a ton of shops in town that have the product you may need. Before you order online or buy from Walmart, look for the item you need in town.
- get a Commons reusable cup
If you’re a busy student with a schedule fuller than your wallet, this one is for you. If you’re like me and constantly buying coffee from Commons, perhaps it’s time to invest in a reusable cup. If you buy a reusable Common’s cup you will receive a discount every time you use it! This way, you can save the planet and your wallet! Plus, you’ll have another piece of Gettysburg College merchandise to cherish for years to come.
- don’t fall for Fast fashion
As the end of the semester nears, many organizations are planning their end-of-the-year formals. We all want to look our best for the occasion and obligatory Instagram grid post, but think twice before ordering that dress from a random site online. More often than not, these places use unethical practices to make clothes quickly and cheap. Not only does this cause an increase in pollution, but cheaply made clothes will end up in your trashcan faster than you can say “fast fashion.” Consider borrowing a dress from a friend, shopping from a slow fashion brand, thrifting nearby, or simply re-wearing a dress this season.
- host a cleanup
If you and you’re friends are looking for something more low-key to do this year, doing your own community cleanup may be a great idea! All you need to do is grab some trash bags (and make sure to separate things that can be recycled versus trash!), gloves, hand sanitizer, and perhaps a grabbing stick if you want to get really into it. You can even have someone bring a speaker to have fun while you clean! You can have a quick cleanup around your dorm or campus, or even extend it to the community and battlefields if you’re feeling adventurous. I love this idea because it is so customizable to your comfort level and time.
I hope that one or more of these ideas have inspired you to help the Earth and make a change. At the very least, I hope you take a moment to connect with nature to appreciate all that the Earth has offered to us. Enjoy Earth Day 2023, and let’s hope there are many, many more to come!