By Ellie Felderman
Here I am again, with another environmental article! I think that one of the main problems with our environmental crisis isn’t about oil drilling, or countries violating emissions protections — while these are obviously huge and important to deal with, one of the places we need to make a change is in our daily lives.
This doesn’t mean that you need to run to school every morning, or that you can never touch another piece of plastic again. The whole point of this article is to help you figure out what small things you can do to help our environment out! After all, we only have one earth 🙂
- Reusable water bottles!
A huge game changer! Bigger than you’d ever imagine! So you buy a disposable water bottle every once in a while.. Who cares, right? The earth sure does!
What you don’t see behind that plastic water bottle is all of the manufacturing — oil needed to be drilled by machines, where it was then shipped to be refined, shipped again to be made into plastic, shipped again to be filled with water, and shipped to you for your consumption.
If you recycle it, sure, it’s a little better — but it still needs to be shipped to the recycling facility where energy is spent to break it down and make it into something else. Additionally, plastic can only be recycled 3-4 times before it breaks down so much it needs to be thrown out. A lose-lose for the environment all the way around.
Also, carrying around a reusable water bottle will remind you to drink water, which will help you stay healthy and ready to hit these rest of spring semester! Not to mention that it makes you look super cool, like this soccer dude.
You’d never guess it, but straws are the bane of the earth. They’re not recyclable, millions and millions are used daily, and an incredible amount of them make their way into our forests and oceans. Did you know that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish? And, plastic never decomposes or breaks down into anything other than smaller pieces of plastic, so this means that all the plastic we ever have and make will always be here. Forever. If that doesn’t make you want to ask your server at a restaurant not to bring you a straw, I don’t know what will!
If you love straws, or believe anything tastes better through a straw, I encourage you to spend à few dollars on a reusable, washable one. The earth will thank you, and all your friends will think you’re super cool for caring about our planet like that!
- Single-use plastics in general!
If you bring breakfast to school, put it in a tupperware instead of a ziploc bag!
Opt for a metal knife at lunch instead of a plastic one to spread your butter! Or, if they don’t have one maybe try the fun adventure of spreading it with a spoon instead!
Bring a bag with you to the grocery store or Target the next time you go! Some places like Whole Foods will even give you a discount for bringing your own bag.
(That adorable dog is the earth, and the bag is every time someone uses single-use plastic, just sayin’)
- Figure out what’s up with recycling
HB has a track record for being terrible at recycling. You’ve all seen the mass emails with tissues, food, and other obviously non-recyclable things in the recycling bins. When you toss your non-recyclable whatever into that blue bin, nothing can get recycled, so take those few extra steps in the room or down the hall to find a proper trash bin.
Also, the recycling facility does not have patience for us when we do this, and if we keep it up, they’ll stop taking all of our recycling. They don’t have the time to sort through our recycling every time! If you’re not sure, ask someone!! There are also signs everywhere, recycling labels on recyclable items, and common sense usually comes into play. I believe in you guys! You just have to commit to figuring it out!
I know it’s really easy to use a plastic bag ‘just this once’, or try to forget about the consequences of using so much plastic, because we don’t usually see the direct consequences in our daily lives. It’s all about the little things you do!
You don’t have to make a radical life change, but even little things make a huge difference over the course of a lifetime. Let’s say I normally would have used only two straws a week — if I live to be eighty, I’ll have saved 6448 straws!! 6448!!!! That’s a big difference! You don’t have to carry around a plate or fork in your backpack (if you’re interested, I’d love to give you my suggestions 🙂 or never turn the lights on again, it’s just all about awareness!
If you always say that ‘someone else will do it’, but everyone is counting on someone else to fix the problem, literally nothing will ever happen. You have to be willing to make a change, no matter how small it is!
Love you & love the earth!