Today is Earth Day, and although every day is Earth’s Day, today we can all come together and find inspirational quotes to attach to our scenic pictures we upload to our social media for the world to appreciate and gain a new like. Oh there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, I did it too, it’s nice to see that friends can all acknowledge a day dedicated to appreciating the planet we live on and remembering even just for a day that the trees outside our homes, apartments, dorms, are to be thanked for that gratification of inhaling and exhaling air. But hopefully, you aren’t just appreciating the Earth through your camera lens, but taking a moment today to really stare at the sky and realize that even though you’re so small compared to the universe above you, you have the largest impact on the ground that you’re standing on.
I’m not an expert, I don’t know everything that man is doing to hurt the Earth, beside the basic understanding of pollution and deforestation, but maybe today’s the day we can read an article someone shared on Buzzfeed or a more pragmatic source, watch a documentary about your favorite country or animal before going to bed on Netflix, and make an internal promise to become just a little bit more informed and aware about the little things we might be doing that can hurt, but better yet, help. I’m definitely not the pretentious informed environmentalist, but that’s the best kind of pretentious person you should be, but I’ll share my two scents of what I do know.
“Going green” doesn’t mean you need to change your entire life, as amazing as that would be, it’s just not probable. We’ve unfortunately grown up a certain way, and a lot of these habits have hurt the Earth in ways we’d never come to realize without reading it somewhere. But simple things can make a difference, I know it’s hard to imagine that how can one person making these minuscule changes in your life actually help the environment, but the more you do it and tell others, enough to where one day the whole gang of friends and in our case, college community, town or city, we slowly head towards that positive progression we can leave behind for our children.
- Obviously start to recycle or keep recycling, that’s a given, everyone knows how wonderful this is. Thankfully my college and I hope yours has been real on top of that. And clean up trash, also a given.
- Change your lightbulbs, I know you’ve heard of the dandier flourescent lightbulb alternatives, so get them! You can go google why they’re better, I’ve honestly forgotten, but they’re not as harmful because of the pollution reduction.
- Wash your dishes by hand whenever you can while listening to an awesome song, use less water, don’t be lazy. Save water by not taking those long showers, and yes shower together, and turning it off while you brush your teeth, all those old habits you might already have, keep them.
- Don’t buy or use bottled water, I know this is tough, but they seriously suck. Those cute water jugs are cuter and cooler anyway, so don’t purchase this plastic that hurts the environment to make, and even more so to dispose of. They take thousands of years to decompose if they aren’t recycled, you can google all the facts I don’t know them, I just know water bottles literally suck.
- Plastic bags also suck, they’re not pretty and deep as seen in American Beauty. (but I love that movie) It’s becoming illegal in certain states to use them, so hopefully Texas is next…eventually. They trash our earth, head towards our ocean, and disturb the food chain of the animals inside them. Use reusable bags or paper bags that can be decomposed.
- Be fun and vow to plant a tree before you die, tons of trees, but at least one, and you can die knowing you actually physically gave Earth a seed of life. Volunteer in general around the community, help plant a garden, clean-up trash group gatherings, your heart will feel so fulfilled and the Earth even more so.
- Buy local! Consider the pollution it takes to get your food across the country, support your local farmers and economy, especially that honey. Yumyumyum!
- I don’t have a car, not because I’m a hippie, but because I’ve never had a car and when I got to college my bicycle became my best friend. Her name is Baby Blue, not very original, but I call her BB. I take her everywhere I can, clearly. So what I’m saying is invest in a bike because it’s good for your heart and the Earth’s air. Also, anything less than 3 miles to me is walking distance, I don’t know if it’s because I’ve never had a car but I am addicted to walking everywhere, and I love public transportation too. In all my japanese anime, these kids walk up to 5 miles to go to school, it’s just a normal thing, and I wish America didn’t rely on cars so much and had more subways and public transportation available. So if you can walk somewhere, put on some good music and walk, it’s better for the environment and your health simultaneously.
- This is just personal, I don’t know if it helps the environment, but get off your phone when you walk. You miss seeing people pass by and offer a smile, or squirrels fighting for a nut, or catching a tree or scenic view you could then pull your phone out to take a picture of. Appreciate the world around you so you can actually feel the impact of helping it.
There are a ton of mores way to help the Earth, just google them. But there’s also those Netflix documentaries that end up having giving us that awakening with their dramatic music and amazing cinematography that might have more of an affect on our current state of minds. I try to watch as many of those as I can, especially the ones about the animals. Did you know that elephants find humans cute? The way we see a cute dog and all crowd around it, well, there’s a documentary that shows elephants doing the same thing and caressing people with their trunks. I think too many people take for granted that we live in a world where lions actually roam, birds soar down the Mt Everest top just for fun and whales bigger than you could ever imagine actually swim in the ocean. Unfortunately so many of these animals are becoming extinct, and it scares me to think what if one day my great grandhchildren will be describing to their children what it was like to live in a world where you didn’t just have to watch those documentaries to see the animals, you could take a trip or a cruise and see them in the flesh.
This Earth is so beautiful, don’t feel belittled when facts overwhelm you and make you not want to be a part of it, just remind yourself that you don’t have to be an expert to save the world. Just keep your eyes, mind and ears open to the news and ways you can help. I know there’s a trip of sending people to live on Mars coming up, and as thrilled as I am to explore our galaxies, we have to remind ourselves, especially in our lifetime, Earth is our home. Watch Wall-E again if you need to, because no matter how far we are forced to wander, I think in the end there is no place like home. So make the best of it, read those articles, keep up with the news as much as you can, watch those documentaries so you can be better at trivia and conversation starters, but also to be more informed and educated. Happy Earth day!