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This is the 52nd Earth Day; the first was in 1970 after a Wisconsin senator, Gaylord Nelson, watched an anti-war protest cause an oil spill. April 22 was chosen because it's between spring break and finals which means students would be in schools to learn about their environment. 

It’s becoming a trend to love the environment and want to take care of it. People are using more reusable water bottles or straws; people are walking, biking or carpooling; and there are group events that are organized for clean ups all just to help with pollution.  

Truthfully it never should have gotten to the point where it is now before someone thought, “Wow. Maybe we shouldn’t be putting our trash into the beautiful ocean.”   

My personal “thing” is to not litter. I hate littering. It is so easy to avoid. Put your trash in your pocket or leave it in your car until you have somewhere else to put it. Maybe keep a small cup or plastic bag in your car if that will help. Amazon literally sells car trash cans that can hang off the back of your seat. I won’t sit here and tell you I never make mistakes and everything I do is to advocate and protect the planet because that isn’t true and I am not perfect. 

I truly believe that you should never throw trash out of your car window, especially not while you are driving. Little things like that add up really fast. Imagine how fast that trash can pile up if every car (that usually holds more than one person) throws something out the window. The streets would be disgusting. Not to mention the amount of animals’ lives you are harming. 

That being said, I encourage you to find ways to save our wonderful planet every day and not just in April. I prefer a reusable water bottle that was $10 from Walmart. Not only am I reducing trash, I am saving money on buying plastic water bottles. When I was in Anchorage, Alaska they used paper straw while here in the United States metal straws are common. Maybe even try using hand towels to clean messes instead of paper towels because that is also reducing waste.  

Earthday.org has tons of ways to donate or join an event if you aren’t an Emporia State student. If you are ESU has Green Club which is a great way for students to help their campus. Last semester they met every Monday at 5 p.m. and picked up trash for about 30 minutes on average. This is my favorite club because I can see that I am making that impact right now. I am not just sending a check in the mail hoping it does what I want.  

You only have one life on this one planet and if you are doing something that you can stop doing to help save it, why wouldn’t you? Quite frankly it's selfish because you aren’t just hurting yourself, you are hurting living things. Think of the trees, animals, and future generations. I will leave you with one final thought, do you want your kids growing up in your trash and your filth? 


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