By Allison Johnson
Blog Content Contributor
I can honestly say I have not participated in any Earth Day activities since elementary school. These activities were often made up of learning of ways to keep the earth clean, being energy efficient, and making Earth Day themed arts and crafts. Earth Day wasn’t a big deal in high school either, and there’s no way in hell professors are setting aside time to talk about the national holiday in class either.
After taking two physics courses, the only piece of environmental advice I’ve gotten from professors, is that a lot of stuff we throw away needs to go to a household hazardous waste site. If you don’t know where your town’s hazardous waste site is look it up on your city’s website, or you can call to ask. San Martians, our waste site is located on 630 E. Hopkins St. Right across from the Big HEB. On the City of San Marcos’s website, they give you the times you can take your waste products, along with examples of products to take there. They listed a few on their site: which are batteries, weed killers, fluorescent lights, cellphones, and drain cleaners. The list goes on and on; even some beauty products need to be disposed at a hazardous waste site.
However, I’m thankful for that small piece of advice. It’s the little things that can make a difference to keep the Earth beautiful. As adults, we should be more aware of the things we do every day that can harm the environment. I think it’s amazing that there’s organizations that keep us informed about how to keep the Earth clean, and that they organize Earth Day events to get people involved. If you’re like me though, you don’t have an Earth Day event marked on your planner to attend, but this doesn’t mean we don’t care. Don’t feel guilty if you’re not planting a tree on April 22nd, just make it a goal to choose the more Earth-friendly option if you have the chance to, but chances are, you’re already going green every day without noticing.
It’s awesome that students who have apartments that are walking distance to campus don’t have to drive to class. This reduces air pollution. Also, a lot of students that live close to campus take advantage of having restaurants and HEB nearby choose to walk instead of drive. Something I’ve noticed too, people who walk back to their lofts with groceries tend to use reusable bags to avoid groceries falling through plastic bags. It’s smart and environmental friendly. Even if you’re a student who doesn’t have this luxury, doesn’t mean you’re not contributing to reducing the use of fuel. If you’ve ever carpooled with your roommates to do grocery shopping together you’re already taking a step into helping the environment. Off-campus residents, technically we do carpool to campus with the use of shuttles. I’m sure riding shuttles is less harm to the environment than hundreds of cars driving around San Marcos all day.
Sometimes I see students pick up random trash off the ground around campus. It’s so sweet of them to take action like that when they didn’t have to. Those kind students set an example to people like me who will pick up on great habits. Sometimes students leave trash on the ground, I’m not sure why, considering we have trash cans and recycling cans almost everywhere, but it still happens. Sometimes we don’t want a flyer someone passed to us in the quad, I get it, sometimes I try to avoid taking a piece of paper I know I don’t want, but it’s not an excuse to throw it on the ground. Next time you see this happen pick it up and recycle! Carpooling, walking and picking up trash can easily be done every day as Texas State students, and it does make a difference.
PS: Recycle those natty light cans.
Featured illustration by Joseph Bonney.