Earth Day Inspires Us to Help Our Environment

by Arleigh Rodgers

We’re about one week away from Earth Day, April 22, which means it’s time to rethink the ways ways we can do our part to help the environment. The celebration, which started in 1970, is an excellent opportunity to highlight pressing issues like climate change, pollution, waste, and deforestation.

While it seems like nothing else matters during this time of social distancing — which actually is, in fact, helping the environment — we shouldn’t forget the Earth we live on. While eco-conscious living shouldn’t be limited to just one day, here’s a few ways to support your local and global community on this year’s Earth day.

  1. If you live near a body of water or the beach, consider going on a social distance walk, solitary or with your family members, and pick up trash. You’re getting fresh air and cleaning up your community.
  2. Consider an “Earth Hour,” in which you and your family members agree to turn off all lights and forgo electronics for an hour. Challenge yourself by making it more than an hour!
  3. Start your own garden. What else do you have to do during quarantine?
  4. Give up meat for one meal, one day, one week, or one month! Obviously this challenge could extend past just Earth Day, but like I said, who said being environmentally conscious should be limited to one day? While you might be stocked up on groceries for social distancing, consider buying less or no meat on your next grocery run.
  5. Buy a gift card from a local restaurant, or any business in your region, that implements farm-to-table or locally-sourced cuisine. It’s essential to support local restaurants and small businesses during this time, especially those that are working toward a greater environmental goal.
  6. Order from 4Ocean, which sells bracelets made out of recycled plastics from beach clean ups. Every purchase removes one pound of plastic from the ocean.
  7. This one might be easiest: Give up driving for a bit! If you’re not working or just working from home, why bother driving at all? If your work is close to your home, consider walking or biking.
  8. Call your state representatives and demand they support legislation that protects the environment. Our voices are more important on this issue than ever! For New York, you can find your state legislators here.

Share with your family and friends — caring for the environment, and asking other to do the same, is free!

Arleigh Rodgers is a junior English major at Ithaca College. She is currently the assistant Life & Culture editor at The Ithacan, Ithaca College's student-run newspaper. She enjoys reading, playing the piano and visiting the Ithaca Farmer's Market every weekend.

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