12 Small Things You Can Do To Celebrate Our Planet On Earth Day

12 Small Things You Can Do To Celebrate Our Planet On Earth Day

Make a meal using whole foods!

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Climate change is ravaging our planet constantly, so take this day to celebrate Earth. There are little things that we should try to do every day, but if anything... Earth Day is the day. Keep your space clean and green, and maybe one day Congress will do the same.

1. Go outside for a couple hours, and leave your phone in your pocket!

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Sit and reflect on the beautiful world around you.

2. Take some time to pick up litter on your college campus!

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Grab a grocery bag and pick up whatever litter you see outside your dorm, or on your daily walks to classes.

3. Buy some eco-friendly daily essentials...

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Buy a canvas tote or a bamboo toothbrush. Get yourself a glass water bottle or some wool dryer balls. So many everyday items can be easily switched out for eco-friendly swaps!

4. Ride your bike to grab a coffee instead of driving.

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5. Take a shorter shower.

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I am guilty of taking extremely long showers. Cutting your average shower by five or ten minutes can make a huge difference though!

6. Plant some flowers!

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Plant a mini garden! Or pot some plants to keep in your dorm and transfer them outside when you move to your forever home!

7. Make a meal using whole foods!

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Whole foods don't have packaging or they have a minimal amount that is usually perfect for recycling!

8. Turn your lights off!

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Whether this means going to bed earlier, or lighting a few candles, just turn off the lights!

9. Go meat-free for the day!

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There are so many delicious meat free options to choose from! One day without meat can help the planet more than you know. Skip the turkey, and reach for more sustainable food options!

10. Educate yourself on what you can and can't recycle...

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Did you know that pizza boxes CANNOT be recycled if there is grease on the box, no matter how small the stain? One greasy pizza box can ruin a whole bin full of recycled goods.

11. Choose paper over plastic.

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12. Open your windows!

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Turn off the A/C and let the Earth cool/heat your home even if it's just for an hour. Your pets will appreciate it too!

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Are Plastic Straws Really Killing Sea Turtles?

It's no secret that plastic isn't great for the environment, but how sensationalized is this topic actually becoming?

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When I first saw a video of a sea turtle getting a plastic drinking straw removed from its nostril, I was obviously upset like any other viewer would be. I care a lot about the environment and about animal life and it was upsetting to see that a product of human consumption and ignorant waste was destroying precious parts of our world. I wholeheartedly jumped on the bandwagon of "plastic straws kill sea turtles!!!" but only knew about the issue from this video and what I heard from people or saw on social media. The whole topic of plastic waste into the ocean remained in the back of my mind until the recent pledge of Starbucks to stop using plastic straws in stores by 2020 reminded me of the issue.

As the topic of plastics and their pollution of the environment (largely the oceans) has become so recently powerful I decided to do some research of my own. If I was going to tell people to stop using plastic straws because they were killing sea turtles, I wanted to be sure that I wasn't just repeating everything I heard from social media.

Turns out, plastic straws are hurting sea turtles and other marine life, but a lot of what I thought about plastic waste was exaggerated (at least from what I had heard from others). Sea birds are the most impacted creature by plastic straws, not sea turtles. About 1 million or more seabirds die every year from ingesting plastic straws and choking on them. In research from recent scientific studies, 80-90% of seabirds have some kind of plastic inside of their stomachs. Also, the ecological footprint that plastic straws alone leave on the planet is actually pretty small compared to food waste or fossil fuels.

However, all the buzz about sea turtles may come from the fact that globally 86% of sea turtle species are known to be affected by plastic debris. Overwhelming amounts of plastic garbage in the ocean have caused a steady decline of the leatherback sea turtle over the past several years, so much that they have been placed on the endangered species list. Plastics can hinder eating and consumption, breathing abilities, and even reproductive capabilities of all kinds of sea turtles.

So while plastic straws may not be killing sea turtles in hordes, they are killing sea birds, and plastic overall have caused huge and deadly effects to many sealife species. We have known that plastic is bad for the environment and the oceans for quite a while, given the fact that the Great Garbage Patch was discovered almost 20 years ago, so it's more than time to start caring about the problem. If we can eliminate single-use plastic straws that aren't biodegradable, we can stop using other single-use plastics and make a better effort to reduce our harmful impacts on the oceans. Individually, we can move towards small changes, which can move our society to a more sustainable and healthy place. If you are more interested in this topic, I would suggest reading about how you can make a change or looking at this article and checking out this scientific journal.

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Vinicius Amano

@viniciusamano

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Easter Is The Best Holiday, Change My Mind

Easter isn't just for kids, it is the best holiday in general.

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Easter from an adult perspective can seem very childish or uneventful but I'm here to change that. Easter is the best time to get together with friends, it has the best food and candy, and has the best color scheme.

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During other holidays you feel overwhelmed and stressed. New Years and St Patty's you have to get drunk and on Christmas, you have to get everyone the perfect gift even if you aren't Christian. Thanksgiving you have to gorge yourself and don't even get me started on Valentines Day. Easter is so carefree and delightful. You could spend all day in bed just watching T.V. or go out and do things. There aren't any obligations, no worries, just bunnies and good times.

Food

This is pasta salad season my dudes. I know I will be making a vegan version for the holiday! There are amazing desserts and snacks. The real reason Easter tops all holidays is how many varieties of candy there are! Chocolate, sugar covered marshmallows, jelly beans!!! So. Many. Jellybeans. You can have light wines and just snack on some peeps or even something healthy! Spring is the best time for potlucks and picnics. You won't sweat to death sitting outside and the bugs aren't in full force yet!

The colors.

I know this sounds very minor but springtime leads to beautiful colors. Flowers vary from yellows to blue and white, any combination you could imagine is blooming. The grass seems a little greener and the sky seems even bluer. Everything around has pastel colors all over, pinks and blues reign. There are even kits to color little eggshells making them pop! Kids run around in cute little dresses and ties.

Easter may have very religious backgrounds but even if you aren't celebrating in the typical sense, there are so many reasons it's a big holiday.

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