Make Earth Day Everyday
After witnessing the ravages of the 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, Ca., Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, was sparked with the idea for a national day to focus on the environment. Nelson realized that if he could merge the energy from the student anti-war movement with the evolving public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda. Senator Nelson announced the idea for a “national teach-in on the environment” and April 22nd, falling between Spring Break and Final Exams, was selected as the date.
Today, Earth Day is recognized and celebrated in more than 192 countries around the world. If you’re looking to observe Earth Day, we have come up with a few ways in which you can contribute to help the environment on April 22nd, and every day.
- Plant a Native Tree. With an average 50-year lifetime, a tree generates $31,250 worth of oxygen, provides $62,000 worth of air pollution control, recycles $37,500 worth of water, and controls $31,250 worth of soil erosion. Native trees support our local ecosystem providing food and shelter to many species. Plant a fruit-bearing tree and you will have a treat when it blooms. Visit your local nursery and they will be able to provide you with the right tools and advice for planting a fruitful tree.
- Save Electricity. After leaving a room in your house, remember to turn the lights off. Doing this will not only lower your electricity bill, it will also generate less heat, making home cooling costs significantly less in the summer. Remember to unplug your cell phone chargers when you leave the house as well. Your chargers are using unnecessary electricity even though your devices are not connected to them.
- Conscious Driving. Driving the speed limit in South Florida is extremely hard to do. However, when you don’t drive the speed limit it decreases your miles per gallon, so driving slower means. Saving a few dollars at the pump. Inflate your tires every few months as well. Americans waste over 700 million gallons of gasoline each year just because their tires aren’t properly inflated.
- Decrease Plastic. Reduce the amount of plastic by doing something as simple as carrying your own water bottle. Stainless steel and polycarbonate drinking bottles are both non-toxic and super-durable. Visit your local Target or Walmart stores and invest in a water bottle that you can use daily.
- Enjoy the Outdoors. Head out and enjoy fresh air and exercise by visiting local parks and nature preserves. Stop by your neighborhood farmer’s market for locally grown and organic produce, plan a picnic, or ride your bike to the beach. Did you know, Americans could save over 70 million gallons of fuel by biking instead of driving. Helping the environment does not have to be a once- a-year celebration, you can contribute little things every day. Which, combined, can have a big impact.
Be sure and visit Broward College Central Campus on Wednesday, April 20 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. where Student Life Volunteering will be hosting an Earth Day Celebration with vendors, activities, and giveaways. Join us as we help spread awareness and promote sustainability.
You can also consider careers in Environmental Science or explore our courses and degree programs on the Broward College Environmental Science website. Programs include an Associate’s of Science or Bachelor’s of Science with two concentration options in either Biosecurity or Physical Sciences.