We only get one
With Earth Day over with, let’s try and keep our planet in mind moving forward because, you know, it’s our planet and we live here.
Here are some simple to moderate tasks you can participate in to make the world a little less trashy.
1) Start recycling. If your apartment building or home doesn’t currently recycle, bring a couple items to campus every morning and drop them into the mixed recycling cans.
2) Start a compost bin, or bring your food waste to the designated recycling areas in Fargo. With spring here, the city has put out yard waste containers that are perfect for your orange peels and tea leaves alike.
3) Turn off electronics when you aren’t using them.
4) Bike or bus instead of drive. You’ll save on gas and improve your heart health all while helping the planet.
5) Don’t eat meat sometimes. Think about reinstating meatless Mondays. Vegetarians contribute less to carbon emissions because they don’t consume meat, so join them once a week. Bonus: if you’re looking to drop an extra five pounds, this will probably help that effort as well.
6) Shy away from red meat, as cows produce more methane than chickens.
7) Use heat and air conditioning modestly. In the winter, try keeping your house 3 degrees cooler than you normally would, and in the summer, 3 degrees warmer than you would otherwise. A little bit goes a long way.
8) Shorten your shower, even by two minutes. You could also switch to showering every other day, or alternating what you do in the shower. For example, instead of shaving every time you hop in the shower, shave once a week. It will undoubtedly cut down on your shower time.
9) Eat locally grown foods. Take out the transportation pollution and eat foods that are in season and readily available in your area. With summer around the corner, hit up the farmers market for fresher, more flavorful produce that doesn’t have the transportation pollution associated with it.
10) Invest in reusable straws to carry with you and keep in your home.
11) Thrift shop instead of going to clothing stores. Not only will it save you cash, it will lessen the need for new clothes to be made. Using less makes less waste.
12) Buy produce from bulk bins and farmers markets to avoid plastic packaging. In addition, bring lightweight cloth bags (which can be bought at O’Day Cache by the way) to pop your produce in instead of those single-use plastic bags at the store.
13) Use items like vinegar, baking soda and hot water to clean your home instead of harsh chemicals. This keeps our water cleaner, and it’s better for your skin.
14) Put leftovers in reusable containers instead of resealable plastic bags. All those containers that you buy sour cream or ice cream or anything else in, just use those instead. Less baggage is always a good thing.
15) Get a Britta filter, pitcher and reusable water bottle instead of buying cases of water from the store. Not only are you saving a lot of money in the long run, but you’re also preventing a lot of plastic from impacting our environment.
16) Look into closed-loop clothing brands, which are brands that use clothing shipped to them to make new clothing. In exchange, they credit users a dollar amount to use on their products. This reduces textile waste in the industry.
17) Consider switching menstruation products to applicator-less tampons, sea sponges or a menstrual cup.
18) Switch to glass or bamboo products instead of plastic ones. Bamboo toothbrushes and utensils are just as durable and lightweight as plastic, but better for the environment. They can also be composted after a few months or years of usage, which keeps them out of the landfill. Using glass containers like Mason jars are good for products you want to microwave. Just make sure you have something to pick it up, as it will be hot once it’s done in the microwave.
19) Switch deodorants. Now more than ever, there are deodorant companies committed to reducing the amount of plastic while keeping you stink free. Companies like Myro give you a case and mail you deodorant refills instead of buying a whole new container every time, cutting plastic use and delivered directly to your door.
20) Use your whole notebook. At the end of the semester, everybody has a few blank pages at the back of their notebooks. Instead of neglecting these pieces of paper, tear them out and cut them in half. Use the smaller sheets of paper for grocery lists and other notes. Waste not want not.
The planet is on a fast track to killing us all. We can’t rewind time to before we could have prevented the climate change that has increased the frequency and severity of natural disasters, and we can’t bring back all the species that have died as a result of our neglect for the planet. But we can change our ways to try and stop further damage and look toward the future for a healthier planet.