April has finally arrived, and with it, the end of the semester, Taylor Swift’s version of Fearless, and, most importantly, Earth day. As a way to celebrate and thank mother nature for everything it gives us, I’ve decided to make a list of 3 things we can all do to preserve our planet and help climate change.
- Put it in Your Bag
We all do grocery shopping once a week -or in my case, at least twice, before the pandemic, of course. I’ve always found going to the grocery store, scanning every aisle, and trying new products super fun. It is a great way to relax after a long day at school or work. And while it brings many of us peace, it is crucial to recognize that this simple activity might not be doing the same for our mother Earth. As we all know, the accumulation of plastic in our oceans and coasts is a problem that terribly affects our flora and fauna. Pieces of plastic have been found in the digestive tract of pelicans and around the neck of turtles, resulting in their death. How is this related to grocery shopping? Well, according to an article published by Penn State, “the average American family takes home almost 1,500 plastic shopping bags a year” and “accumulates 60 [of them] in only four trips to the grocery store.” This is very serious. We are putting more plastic in the environment than we are removing. To alleviate this problem, we could all start taking on our bags -preferably fabric or paper ones- to the store. It sounds super easy, but the impact it can have is gigantic. So, get together with friends, decorate your own bags, and know your actions are the seeds of tomorrow.
- Get a Magic Water Filter Pitcher and a Reusable Water Bottle
Did you know that a study published by Container Recycling Institute revealed that more than 60 million plastic water bottles are thrown away each day in the United States alone? That is absolutely unacceptable. We already talked about the fate of most of the plastic we consume. We know it ends in the streets, waterways, and parks. But the saddest part is that those affected the most are precisely the least blameworthy. Yes, I am talking about our animals. Reducing the number of plastic water bottles would significantly protect and benefit our wildlife. How exactly can we do this? All it takes is two things: a water filter pitcher and a reusable water bottle, both of which you can buy from your nearest retail store. Trust me, once you get a water filter pitcher, you won’t want to go back. I first got mine during my freshman year, and I don’t remember seeing a single plastic water bottle in the trash can ever again. It is super easy to use: you place the filter inside the pitch, fill it with tap water, store it in the fridge and use it whenever you need it. But be careful. You do have to change the filter every so often. So, read the indications on the box for more details. As for your reusable water bottle, get creative and decorate it however you like. I put Disney stickers all over mine, and I never go anywhere without it. It also helps me keep track of my water intake, so it is a win-win.
- Turn it OFF
Let’s talk about light pollution! According to a National Geographic article, “99% of people [in] the United States and Europe can’t see the Milky Way [due to] light pollution.” While this is really sad, it does not compare with the scary fact that light pollution, adding excess heat into the air, contributes to climate change. It is not a secret that climate severely affects the environment. Not only has it led to the melting of sea ice, thus resulting in the habitat loss of animals such as polar bears. But it also has risen sea levels. This affects coastal cities enormously as floods become more frequent and intense. While we, alone, cannot eliminate all the factors that contribute to this problem, we sure can do our part by breaking a couple of habits. One thing we should do, for example, is turn off lights when not in use. An article by Astral Energy explained that this reduces the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Moreover, reducing light consumption also decreases the amount of non-renewable resources that are used and that negatively impact the environment. So, instead of having the lights on at all times, try opening the curtains and let that beautiful and natural light illuminate your day.
As you can see, it does not take much to make a big difference. It all starts with you and me. So this Earth month -and every day of the year – let’s show our love for mother nature and give back to it by doing these three simple things.
Until next time. Happy Earth Month.