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Happy Earth Day! Protecting our planet starts with us. The theme for Earth Day in 2018 was End Plastic Pollution. This year's theme is Protect Our Species. This means protecting threatened and endangered species.

But we shouldn't just celebrate and protect Mother Earth one day of the year. Here are a few small things you can do to protect the Earth any day of the year.

1. Use reusable grocery bags.

Plastic bags can end up in the oceans and because of the way they float in water, some marine creatures may think of them as similar to jellyfish, or their dinner.

2. Use reusable cups.

Instead of buying (or using) a new plastic water bottle every time you want water, buy yourself a reusable water bottle you can take everywhere with you. Hydro Flasks are great reusable water bottles, plus, they're meant to keep your water cold for up to 24 hours. Highly recommend a Hydro Flask.

3. Use reusable straws.

Disposable, or plastic straws, are harmless to animals, especially marine life. Plastic never breaks down. It breaks down, but never completely biodegrades. Buy a reusable straw (silicone, collapsible, metal, bamboo, glass, plastic), and if you really want to, take it with you to restaurants and use it instead of the plastic straws they provide for you.

4. Use reusable utensils.

This may sound weird, but buy some reusable utensils and carry them with you. That way you always have utensils with you where ever you go. Carrying them to restaurants that use plastic utensils will help you to reduce using plastic.

5. Use a bamboo toothbrush.

Plastic toothbrushes are made of harmful chemicals. Buy a bamboo toothbrush. Bamboo toothbrushes are made of sustainable materials, plus you can compost the handle and recycle the bristles.

6. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.

Cut down on what you waste.

7. Conserve water.

Turn off your water when not using it. The less water you use, the less runoff and wastewater that eventually end up in the ocean.

8. Plant a tree.

Trees are essential to life. They create the air we breathe and filter air pollution.

9. Use energy saving light bulbs.

It's a bright idea (haha)! Energy efficient light bulbs reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Also, flip the light switch off when you leave the room!

Leah Himes

Xavier '19

Leah Himes is a senior English major with psychology and writing minors. She is from Cincinnati, Ohio. When she is not working on HCXU stuff, she is hanging with friends, listening to music, working at Starbucks or eating mac n' cheese in her slippers on the couch.
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