Allyson Berrios ‘20: Each year, Earth Day rolls around on April 22 and people from around the world help to make our earth a cleaner, happier place. According to 4ocean.com, “Every hour, approximately 1.6 MILLION tons of waste enters our ocean. Yearly, a colossal 14 billion tons of trash ends up in our beautiful oceans. Of this waste, much of it is plastic.” Obviously the Earth needs Earth Day, but is one day really enough to clean all of the waste that flows around the ocean and piles up on land?

There are so many ways to help keep the garage in the can, from making sure you recycle to maybe even going plastic free, or at least less plastic. Here are some things that don’t take much effort that if everyone did, our earth could life a plastic free life.

Carry reusable shopping bags:

In California, plastic bags for shopping don’t even exist and they are already on their way to a happier local ocean. If you can’t quite give up the plastic bags, at least try switching to paper bags. However, switching to paper bags hurts the Earth’s trees, so reusable bags are truly the best option.

Give up plastic water bottles:

It is easy to buy a reusable water bottle that you can use daily, it keeps your water colder longer and has color unlike the dull, old plastic water bottle, and the best part it is – it saves money, and marine life.

When ordering a pizza say no to the little plastic “table” in the middle of the pizza box: The little “table” is called a “package saver” and when thrown away, think about all the marine life that could end up eating that so called “table” for dinner.

Throw away your cigarettes:

Cigarettes are mistaken for food by so many animals. Not only do the toxic nicotine destroy their little bodies, but they can’t digest it and it ends up killing thousands of animals. At the very least, keep an ashtray in your car and empty it out at home, or if you’re in public, hold onto it until you find a trash can. Don’t let cigarettes kill our beloved wildlife.

Reduce the usage of chemicals and pesticides:

Things like bleach, Windex, chlorine, ammonia, triclosan, etc. are chemical based cleaning products that are not safe for the environment.  Non-toxic cleaning products are available, and many of these are just as effective as their conventional counterparts.

Refuse single-use items:  

Straws, to-go cups, disposable razors, to-go-boxes, etc. are everyday used items that only have one use and cause mass pollution. The more people who buy one-use items, the more litter that will end up in our environment. Try buying metal straws that you can use on the go, or razors that will last you a long time – any change makes a difference.

Plant trees, bushes, and plants:

If you see trees being cut down, stop by Home Depot and buy a tree, a bush, or flowers to plant in your backyard. Make that little tree your summer project, give it a name, water and take care of your tree and just know that that tree is making a difference.

These are just a few ways that will positively impact our environment. It may not seem like much but when people all around start trying to make change, the earth will smile back at all of the people who try to make an impact. So even though Earth Day is one day, that never means you have to stop caring, so be nice to the earth 24/7 and it will help everyone live a happy litter free life.

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