By Cristina Galvan
Going green will help the environment as well as students’ wallets.
Without realizing it, our everyday actions harm our environment whether it is throwing a wrapper on the floor or not recycling.
There are things that students could do to go green. With gas prices going up, there are other alternatives to reaching one’s destination. Students can ride their bikes, skateboards, scooters or even walk to school or work.
This will save students money and it will prevent the air from being polluted with smog which contains ozone.
Other means of transportation will also be beneficial to students’ health since they are a good form of exercise. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website, epa.gov, says that ozone can irritate the respiratory system, reduce lung function, worsen asthma and damage lung lining.
The website also says that “some scientist have compared ozone’s effect on the lining of the lung to the effect of sunburn on the skin.” Students can also carpool with friends. When students carpool, they could split the cost of gas.
Those who carpool could alternate and share driving duties along with saving money and reducing traffic. One does not have to spend thousands on a hybrid, but making small changes to our forms of transportation can stretch a long way.
People do not often think much of the damage we cause to our environment because we do not see the big picture. For example, On a daily basis, we see wrappers on the floor and we simply think “What is one wrapper going to do?”
The reality is these wrappers end up in drains and flow into the ocean. Once in the ocean these wrappers destroy eco systems and hurt animals who consume the waste or get entangled in it.
The EPA says that, “volunteers participating in the 2008 International Coastal Cleanup event discovered 443 animals and birds entangled or trapped by marine debris (2008 ICC report Ocean Conservancy).”
Trash is an unavoidable part of our lives. “In 2010, Americans generated about 250 million tons of trash,” says the EPA. We cannot get rid of trash all together, but we can do things to reduce it. One measure is to recycle more.
Throughout East Los Angeles College campus, there are trash cans and recycle cans located side by side. It is important that students adequately use these bins.
Throw thrash where the trash belongs and recyclables where they belong. Students should not mix both trash and recyclables together. Another good idea to reduce waste is to purchase a reusable water bottle. Constant coffee drinkers can also buy a thermal mug.
Besides recycling bottles and cans, students can also recycle paper, glass, batteries and old electronics.
What use are old cell phones and VCR players that are stored in drawers and buried in the garage?
Next time you are tempted to throw something on the floor, you should stop and walk to the nearest trash can. Adapting to these small measures will benefit your health, save money and most importantly save mother Earth.