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‘Earth Day’ is Every Day, Not Just an Instagram Post Once a Year

Every year on Earth Day we are reminded that our planet is in serious trouble due to the effects of climate change and the harmful effects of our waste but are we taking personal responsibility for the issues at hand? It’s great to be knowledgeable on the condition of Earth, but it’s not just up to our politicians and car companies to create a cleaner environment. 

We live in an indulgent society where we often don’t have to consider the consequences for actions that seem minuscule; like running water while we brush our teeth, shopping online at cheap retailers, using plastic bags at stores, buying packs of water bottles, and how we dispose of our pets poo bags – all these choices have a harmful effect on our environment. I’ve outlined a few ways you can do your part in creating a cleaner environment, that way Earth Day isn’t just one day out of your year. 

Get a Brita and a Reusable Water Bottle 

Plastic is a large issue affecting our planet, about 300 million tons of plastic pollutes, and only about 9% of that plastic gets recycled. An easy way to cut back on plastic is by purchasing a water filter and a reusable water bottle. Brita sells an array of water filter products, from filters that attach to your sink or a pitcher that goes into your fridge. You can purchase them from Target, Walmart, or Amazon, or directly from the Brita website. 

If you’re looking for a reusable water bottle that has some flare, you can head to Etsy and check out my favorite shop for custom cups and tumblers, JazzyDesignsUS. Or you can visit your local Target or Walmart and pick out a basic water bottle. 

If you really want to go above and beyond, you can buy a Soda Stream to cut back your usage on cans as well. I enjoy the carbonated water with a mix of some lemon and lime juice for a healthier version of a Sprite, but there are soda syrup flavors available for purchase as well. 

Cut Back on Running Water

The average American uses up to 2,000 gallons of water every day, and the amount of drinking water in the world is finite. The easiest way you can cut back on your personal water usage is by turning off your water faucet while you’re brushing your teeth, or lathering the soap on your hands. 

You can also reuse bath towels and get a loopy body scrubber. They’re eco-friendly, fully recyclable, and easy to keep clean for multiple washes. When you’re in the shower you can cut back on using water by turning the shower off while you’re shaving your legs or conditioning your hair. If your bathroom doesn’t remain warm with the water off – I don’t blame you for not utilizing that last recommendation! 

Thrift Over Fast Fashion 

Fast fashion is horrific for our environment in numerous ways. It affects our water supply, fills our already crowded landfills, and exploits workers. Fast fashion refers to cheaply made garments that resemble the latest fashion trends or what was last on the runway. These clothing companies include Fashion Nova, Shein, Zara, and more. 

A way to contribute less to the harmful effects of fast fashion is to thrift. Goodwill and other thrift stores offer a vintage look without spending too much money. If you’re not looking to shop in-store, there are thrifting websites you can check out like ThredUP or Thrifted. 

Compost and Compostable Poop Bags 

You can make a compost bin using a small storage container and leave it away from your house or on your balcony if you’re living in an apartment. You’ll be able to compost scraps of food like veggies, eggshells, and paper products. The US Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 48.2 million tons of waste food is generated and ends up in landfills. Composting reduces methane emissions and in some cases removes the need for chemical fertilizers. If you enjoy houseplants or gardening, you can utilize your composted dirt instead of buying fertilized dirt from the store. 

If you have a pet and would like to go the extra mile, you can purchase compostable poop bags. If pet waste is not disposed of properly it can be harmful to the environment not to mention the large amounts of plastic used to scoop the poop. 

Utilize Reusable Grocery Bags and Refillable Products
Trader Joe\'S Reusable Bag
Jocelyn Hsu / Spoon

Grocery bags are another culprit of harmful plastic being utilized in everyday life. You can pick up reusable grocery bags from the grocery store or you can purchase some online. It’s an easy way to cut back on plastic and more reliable for heavier items than a plastic bag. 

Buying large refill containers for products is another easy way to cut back on plastic. Rather than purchasing bottle after bottle of hand soap, body wash, or even laundry detergent you can purchase brands that offer refillable bottles. Puracy is my go-to brand for all-natural and organic products for all my soap needs. They offer large refills so I’m cutting back on plastic use and the amount of water that’s used to create plastic products is also reduced. 

It’s not just the politicians or Greta Thunberg that needs to take an active role in saving our environment. The call comes from within each and every one of us. Let your actions create a ripple effect of positive change within your community through small and easy changes. 

 

Melissa Walsh

Kennesaw '22

Melissa is a Junior at Kennesaw studying both Journalism and Political Science.
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