…and every day for the rest of your life. Whether we want to be or not, we are all in and a part of nature and make an impact every day–often without even realizing–mindlessly going through motions that may be detrimental to our planet. Here are a few extraordinarily simple things (and hopefully just some reminders) that you can do to help save, replenish, and nurture the great Motha’ Earth in all her glorious beauty!
1.) Participate in the Earth Week Clothing Swap on campus
For the third annual year, Gonzaga Environmental Organization (GEO) hosts the Earth Week Clothing Swap. Recycle unwanted clothes by placing them in the blue Arc of Spokane bins found in Crosby, Duffs and Tilford now until April 26th. Then, visit LoCro on April 24th from 10am-3pm, where clothes will be available to purchase for $1 or to trade one-for-one. Give your unwanted clothing new life, support the Arc of Spokane (100% of proceeds will benefit the non-profit agency), and reduce landfill waste! It’s a triple win: for you, for the recipients, and for the landfill that won’t be getting that much bigger.
GEO’s “Thriftshop” Photoshoot
2.) Walk, Run, Bike!
All good things, all good things. Every mile you don’t drive in your car saves about a pound of CO2 and other pollutants! Get to know the centennial trail and explore it’s many wonders instead of driving downtown, and try biking to your groceries rather than driving. Source: huffingtonpost.com
3.) Choose both sides
An average American uses about 600 pounds of paper per year. At the same time, pulp mills release trillions of gallons of chlorine-tainted water as part of the paper making process. By simply using both sides of the paper, you can cut that pollution and amount of paper usage in half while simultaneously saving money! Even more-so, by choosing to use chlorine-free recycled paper as opposed to virgin paper, you can cut back on your air pollution and water pollution. Source: 3blmedia.com, rustletheleaf.com
4.) Recycle your cans and bottles
We shouldn’t let the lack of reverse vending machines (to recycle our used bottles) in Spokane stop us from properly recycling them! Recycling one can saves enough energy to run your TV for three hours. Additionally, glass put in the trash can take over a million years to decompose. For those of you over 21, something to think about on the weekends… Source: huffingtonpost.com
5.) Measure your ecological footprint
Take this quiz to see your consumption levels of Earth’s natural resources in comparison to our planet’s ecological capacity to regenerate. You may have heard that if everyone on the planet lived like the average American, we would need 5 Earths to sustain our lifestyle. Don’t be that average American. Oprah will be proud. Source: earthday.org
6.) Go meatless
By simply going meatless once a week, you can help conserve thousands of gallons of water and drastically reduce CO2 emissions that come from the production, consumption, and waste of meat products. Ask any vegetarian you know and they will gladly share this with you.
7.) Turn off the sink when you brush your teeth
In doing so, you can save 5 gallons of water a day! Source: huffingtonpost.com
8.) Buy CFL Lightbulbs for your house
Compact Fluorescent lightbulbs use 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent lightbulbs. Not to mention you can save $30 or more in energy cost’s over the bulb’s lifetime. Source: huffingtonpost.com
9) Don’t shower!
If you’re teetering with the motion of to take a shower or to not, DON’T! By washing your hair less frequently, you will be reducing the dangerous PCPP (Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products as Pollutants) chemical runoff into water ways that cause harm to our ecological system. This is not too much to ask since your hair will be healthier the less often you wash it anyways and the oils will easily adapt to the less frequent schedule. Source: huffingtonpost.com
11.) Fill up a dishwasher instead of hand washing your dishes
Simply not doing your dishes by hand can save hundreds of gallons of water a month! Source: huffingtonpost.com
12.) Invest in a reusable water bottle
In the U.S., 1.5 million barrels of oil used every year to make disposable plastic bottles.
13.) Attend the Rock the Planet Concert this Friday
What better way to kick off Earth Week than by celebrating the annual festival put on by GEO and RHA with music, food, and activities! There will be a dunk tank, snow cones, a watermelon eating contest, frisbee, music performances, a raffle, a GUTS show and food! The fun commences at 5pm (until 10) this Friday, April 25th on Herak Lawn.
According to The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges, Gonzaga is one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the U.S. and Canada. We are ranked number two in the west coast conference for green power use, retrieving 18% of our energy from green power sources (Source: krem.com). Every one of us makes an impact in our community and can do their part!
Find out more sustainable initiatives, activities, and pledges happening worldwide for Earth Day at http://www.earthday.org.