Earth Day means so much more than getting down in the dirt and planting trees. “I feel like Earth day is definitely something we should pay more attention to because it’s the one day a year that people are reminded to stop treating the earth so badly and try to be a little greener because we live on this earth but treat it horribly,” said University of California, Los Angeles freshman Victor Rocha.
Celebrate Earth Day with one of these 10 eco-friendly activities.
Want to know one of the east ways to cut down on your paper trail? Change your subscription habits. Instead of having your bills or catalogs sent to you the mail, choose to have them emailed to you. It’s easy to do for your future subscriptions and to go change your preferences for most places online. So hop to it and cut down on your use of paper so the world doesn’t have to cut down so many trees.
2. Bike to Class
If you live close enough to your campus, skip the car and bike to class. Not only will you help the environment, you’ll also work in some great exercise. If you can’t take your bicycle out, then use the bus or another form of public transportation. Can’t manage to do that either? Carpool with a friend to reduce your daily carbon emission.
3. Buy Used
Stop feeding into that consumer culture. Break free and buy used items. You can find almost anything used online. From clothes to electronics, you can find whatever you want. Better yet, you might even be able to make some money if you choose to sell some of your old items. Places such as Vinted.com will let you be your own online boutique owner. Not only will you have fun and make money, but you’ll also make a difference.
4. Go for a Hike
An absolute must-do on Earth Day? Enjoy this beautiful planet. Get out into the green and discover the land around you. If your university is in a city, down fret. Either hop on a bus and head out of town for the day, or go to a city park. Just find yourself some green and love it.
5. Write Your Rep
Interested in the political side of Earth Day? Simply look up your local, state or federal representative and shoot them an email. Want a response? Your best chance is to write to a local representative. If you’re more the go big or go home type, write to your senator. If you know of any specific causes you think deserve some support, include those in your email. Get out there, write to your representative and discover your inner lobbyist.
Reuse in style. Buy a reusable water bottle or grocery bag to show off your own personal style and cut down on wasted plastic all at the same time. You can find practically any design for either of these products with a simple google search.
7. Recycle in the Right Bins
Most colleges and public places have specific bins based upon the type of recycling they take. Most students just toss their trash into any bin they want and don’t take the time to put trash in its designated area. Simply check before you toss, and you’ll be on your way to a greener Earth Day.
8. Feed the Birds
Maybe you don’t want to get dirty, but you can still get hands-on. A great way to get in touch with the nature is to put up a bird feeder. Not only will you help the animals around you, but you’ll also get a glimpse of the beautiful creatures that inhabit your neighborhood. Just imagine waking up each morning to the serene chirping of birds.
9. Meatless Earth Day
Pass on meat this Earth Day and meet a more veggie-friendly you. Go to your dining hall or concoct a fresh green salad. There are so many great vegetarian or vegan options out there. Jump into the experience and go all out for Earth Day. Remember, the more veggies the merrier!
10. Bring a Friend
Whatever you decide to do, include a friend. Everyone needs to do their part to make this Earth Day over the top. Whether you go for a hike, write to your representative or make a bird feeder don’t do it alone. We’re all in this together so get to it!
Still not sure what to do on Earth Day? Keep reading for more ways to go and think green.
11.Netflix binge on nature documentaries
Living on a campus with beautifully manicured hedges and seasonal landscaping may distort your reality about the world’s health. Dive deep into a Netflix binge with nature documentaries that will open your eyes to our planet’s cries for help. A Plastic Ocean will make you think twice about using regular water bottles over reusable ones. Give Me Shelter will encourage you to ditch purebred puppy mills and adopt from local animal shelters. More Than Honey will show you that swatting away the next honeybee you see isn’t what’s best for the Earth. Let the documentaries help you find a cause you care about so you can carry new practices into your life past Earth Day.
12. Take a dip
Springtime brings all the college students to the pool. Ditch the chlorinated water and find a natural body of water near your campus. Kayak down a nearby river and marvel at the trees all around you. Paddle board into the sunset as you breathe in the salty ocean breeze. Marvel at the bright blue hues of the nearest spring to your campus. Water makes up almost 60 percent of our bodies so appreciate all of the H20 the world offers you.
13. Plant something
Grow a green thumb this Earth Day. Remember when you got excited over your germinating lima bean seed back in grade school? Throwback to those days and bring some photosynthesis into the world. Buy seeds for an herb you use to cook often like basil or cilantro. Or decorate your apartment or dorm with more low-maintenance plants like orchids or succulents. Want to take it a step further? Contact your local government and ask if you can plant a tree at a park.
14. Visit a state or national park
SHOUTOUT to Teddy Roosevelt for loving nature. He set aside 230 million acres of public land and established five national parks. Follow in his naturist footsteps and explore the lands he set aside for natural beauty to prevail. Florida State University students can cross to Georgia to see Providence Canyon State Park, often called “the mini Grand Canyon.” Students in the D.C. area can explore the different plants native to the U.S. at the National Arboretum. No matter where you live, nature is waiting around the corner for you to explore.
15. Donate to an environmental organization
Spend your money on Mother Earth. Your #brokecollegestudent status can afford to spend money at organizations that make the world a better place for your descendants. Donate to the Monterey Bay Aquarium to make sure the fish you eat on your plate doesn’t harm the ecosystem in the ocean. Tired of seeing plastic floating down the river? Donate to American Rivers, an organization that advocates to remove dams and hosts river cleanups.
*Updated April 20, 2018 by Celina Pelaez to include Earth Day activities 11-15.