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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCSB chapter.

Happy Earth Month girlies! April is recognized globally as Earth Month, with Earth Day being celebrated annually on April 22nd. Being UCSB students, we are surrounded by the Earth’s natural beauty daily. I mean, what other college students can say they see the glistening Pacific Ocean every day on their walk to class? 

The aftermath of Deltopia, an annual tradition in Isla Vista that draws thousands of students to celebrate each year, has made me realize I need to do more in my local community to help our environment. So, in honor of Earth Month and post-Deltopia madness, here are some ways we Gauchos can go green and help our local environment! 

Volunteer at a Beach Clean-up

Beach clean-ups happen very frequently in Isla Vista and Santa Barbara County in general, and this is a great way to help protect our beautiful ocean! If you want to volunteer on your own time, you can contact Project Clean Water, and check out their buckets and trash grabbers to help your local beach. 

Additionally, Explore Ecology hosts their own beach clean-ups on the second Sunday of every month at Arroyo Burro Beach in Santa Barbara. Check out their website for more information to start the volunteer process. 

Beaches aren’t the only environment that needs our help, the local creeks in Santa Barbara also get filled with trash and need clean-ups too. Through the City of Santa Barbara’s Creeks Restoration and Water Quality Improvement Division, you can help clean up creeks!

Food Donations

A lot of us buy our own groceries now, as part of this whole “adulting” thing, but sometimes have leftover food that’s gone bad or simply forgotten about in the refrigerator. I can’t even count how many times I’ve found rotten berries behind mountains of groceries in the fridge or discovered an unopened box of granola bars I bought during winter quarter. 

I’ve discovered that food waste is pretty common among my roommates and friends at UCSB. I cringe at myself every time I clean out the fridge and think about how much money and food I’ve wasted. 

I’ve learned recently that you can drop off food scraps at the Isla Vista Co-Op, a local co-op in the heart of Isla Vista. If you’re a busy student and don’t have a lot of extra time on your hands, you can also purchase your very own composting bin through the county for $45. If you have a lot of roommates (which you probably do considering the housing situation in Isla Vista) you can split the cost with them and all chip in to help eliminate food waste. 

If you have unopened canned food that you forgot about in the back of your pantry or never ate, there are plenty of local donation centers you can drop it off. 

One place is right on campus, and that is the Associated Students Food Bank! They will accept non-perishable foods, canned foods, rice, breakfast bars, etc. You can also donate unopened toiletries to help students in need!

Get Involved with UCSB and all its Environmental Resources!

Our school could not be in closer proximity to the ocean, so it’s no surprise that our student body is full of environmental activists and encourages sustainability! There are a variety of student-run organizations to help the environment. The Greenhouse and Garden Project is a local educational organization that allows students full access to the greenhouse and helps upkeep the garden.

If you’re a ocean lover, there is the Isla Vista Surfrider, which is the UCSB chapter of the International Surfrider Foundation, a non-profit that is committed to the protection of the ocean for surfers. This group was started by surfers and only consists of surfers and ocean enthusiasts who join together to encourage the protection of our local coastlines.

You can check out the UCSB Sustainability website here, for more organizations that help protect our environment.

There are so many small ways you can help this Earth Month, whether it’s remembering to turn off the lights when you leave the house or simply recycling your water bottle. It’s important to be mindful this month and every month to help do your part in protecting our amazing Earth!

Hi, I'm Erin! I am a fourth year film and media studies student here at UCSB. I'm originally from northern California but moved to Wyoming last summer. When I'm not busy with schoolwork or my part-time retail job, I enjoy thrifting, film photography, and journaling. I'm stoked to be an editorial intern for Her Campus and can't wait for what's to come this year.