To those that know me well, I can be an annoyance when it comes to doing my part to take care of the Earth. In fact, as I type this, I have the window open, but the blinds closed (don’t want to make the room hotter because the sun is shining) and the window open so it doesn’t get warm and the lights
are off. My roommates know that if they leave a light on, or an appliance plugged in, I will be right behind them turning lights off and unplugging appliances. There is no excuse for wasting energy like that, and I’m not just saying that because it is Earth Day.
So, for the past week when I am constantly asked about what I am doing for Earth Day, I’m not sure what to say. It’s as if Earth Day is some special holiday that comes once a year. Something that everyone needs to break out the decorations for, clean up the house and serve dinner to unexpected guests for the evening and then continue on with their normal lives the next day; something that everyone does every year that they hate, but they do it anyway because they feel obligated to do so.
When it comes to giving my answer, the only good thing I can tell everyone is, “The same thing I do every day of the year.” For some, they are taken back by my answer, as if I’m not doing anything on the one day a year that the Earth is celebrated. It’s like I’m committing some sort of crime. However, I explain to them what I mean by my answer and they seem to understand but never speak their minds about what they do every other day of the year for the Earth.
I recycle everything thing that I can. I don’t recycle when it’s convenient; I do it because I like doing it and because I know it’s a worthy cause. Whenever I leave a room, I turn the lights off. Not only does it save money (something that we need a lot of, especially with rising gas prices) but it saves energy. Too many households waste too much energy. I don’t want to be one of them. Turning off your lights for one day, just because it’s Earth Day doesn’t really help offset the other 364 days of the year that you waste energy. Instead of driving to classes, I walk or take a form of public transportation. I don’t need to be another vehicle on the road and lead to more traffic jams and more carbon emissions just because I’m too lazy to walk.
I reuse what I can too. Plastic grocery bags are a nuisance, but they always get recycled. When I can’t recycle them, we turn them into trash bags. Not only does it save us money (because we’re not buying trash bags) it also helps keep them out of trees and yards. To water plants, I take water from my aquarium on tank change days and use it, which keeps me from wasting water as it is a beneficial plant food, from all that fish waste you know.
I think the only thing that we do every year around Earth Day is plant trees. We manage to get several trees each year for a small fee. Those trees are then planted, helping clean the air. Not to mention, we plant a garden every summer, reducing the amount of food we have to buy from a store, not to mention, the amount of trips we need to take to buy food.
Earth Day is not something that you should celebrate every once a year, it should be celebrated every day. Without everyone stepping forward and doing their part, we won’t have an Earth to celebrate next year. What we will pass on to our children then?