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Stephanie Shekarchi

You Don’t Have to Wait Until Earth Day to Save the Earth

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCF chapter.

We can’t go back in time and repair all the damage already done to this planet, but we can try and give it some relief, while also making some cute things for ourselves. Here are three ways you can keep things out of the landfill and—get ready to be cheesy—into your heart.

Use old bottles as vases

Whether your favorite drink is water, soda or another fizzy friend like kombucha, the joy shouldn’t stop once the bottle is empty! Instead, use it as a vase for some lovely flowers! This isn’t to say that recycling isn’t an option—and a great one at that—​but why not turn it into beautiful, unique decor for your room? Next time you finish that delicious bottle of lemonade, think twice about heading straight for the recycling bin.

You can turn anything into art

Absolutely anything can be art. A rusty bottle cap, a gift bag or old sheet music from your fourth grade trombone recital. It’s so easy to see something small like a cap to a glass bottle as garbage, but challenge yourself to look at it in a more creative way. Do these colors match your room? Find a way to incorporate them.

But, if having a random bottle cap sitting by your record player seems a little too strange for your liking, think about starting a scrapbook! Maybe you went out with some friends and you want to have that memory glued down somewhere so you never forget. Or maybe it was just hot and you needed a drink. In that case, try creating a piece of art with it. I used some to make a little wooden friend that I keep by my desk!

Transform and reinvent your style

We’ve all been there: you get together this huge pile of clothes that just don’t really fit your style anymore. (And let’s be honest, it might have had a questionable stain we hoped wasn’t that noticeable.) You head on over to Plato’s and you can feel it in your bones—​they’re going to take everything! Okay, maybe not everything, but one thing right? Well, you leave the store just the way you came, with a pile of clothes and no extra money to go shopping.

But, maybe there was a reason they didn’t accept your stuff: because you’re about to make it the best item in your closet, and they’re going to wait for the day you open their doors to sell it again. (Spoiler alert: you won’t want to.) I’m not going to sit here and tell you to collect the pop-tops on soda cans and make a cool skirt because that’s not really what we’re going for. But you can take an old t-shirt, cut it up a bit and now you have a crop top and a tube top! There are so many tutorials online that walk you through it and you’ll be a pro in no time! I’ve done this to almost all my old shirts and now I’ve started trying other things, like using old ties as headbands (because sadly, the Avril Lavigne skater boy phase has passed).

There is so much beauty on this planet—​beauty that is for us to appreciate and admire, like the leaves on the big oak tree or the wildflowers in the field. We have the power to preserve this wonderful gift, for us and for the little creatures that rely on us to do so. It’s in the best interest of everyone and everything that we try to make use of something before it heads to the landfill.

Because after all, we all play a part in what happens to this environment and to this ecosystem, no matter how small it seems in the grand scheme of things.

Images: All image credit goes to the author.

Stephanie is a sophomore majoring in Early Education and Anthropology with a minor in Biological Anthropology! She loves her two dogs, painting, and sewing her own clothes!
UCF Contributor