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Earth days in the past used to make me feel anxious and depressed about the fate of our world. I would plant a tree, turn off the lights, and continue to go about my larger bad habits. While COVID times garnered a lot of partisan hate and sadness, I felt hopeful for the Earth. Pictures of a clean Venice canal and stats about fuel emissions went viral across social media platforms. I started to feel as though maybe a greener, healthier planet really was achievable.

            This Earth day, I promised myself that while I acknowledge the urgency of our worsening climate situation, I would also remember that progress is possible. Changing the fate of our Earth can seem like a daunting task for just one person, but if one person gives up, so will everyone. If you don’t carry your weight, how can you expect someone else to carry theirs?

            An area where I feel that I can be more climate-conscious is food. I have my particular tastes and am in no particular hurry to change those habits. That said, I have started to be more aware of my meat intake. Such a small change in mindset and overall consciousness can help a lot more than one may think. Additionally, I have tried to be more aware of the length of my showers. Sharing a bathroom with sixteen other people has helped with this specific task. 

            Everyone wants to live on a healthier, happy Earth, but Earth day is not about attempting to make large sweeping changes. Earth day is about encouraging people to make everyday adjustments to promote small sustainable habits for the common good. Businesses, universities, and influencers have begun to encourage this more and more. There is a lot to be done but don’t get caught up in the scale of necessary change. Focus on what you can do. It is important to remember that we have seen progress—even if just for a moment—and we can make long lasting change for a healthy tomorrow

Lilly Doninger is a member of the class of 2024 at William & Mary from Louisville, Kentucky. She hopes to major in International Relations. In her free time, she enjoys playing tennis, watching movies, and journaling. Lilly writes weekly for her personal blog, Ridiculous but Respectable. Lilly is so excited to be a writer for HerCampus!
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