Earth Day is today, Monday, April 22nd and many are trying to think of ways to help preserve the world we live in and minimize their ecological footprint. There are many ways to help our environment right now that students can do at home. One of those things and the simplest is unplugging appliances at home and turning lights off when they are not in use. Even when a TV is off it’s still drawing about 30% of its power.
Another great way students can save energy and thus the environment is to recycle. It’s easy at home – just use the blue bin provided by the city for items that you can recycle. Most public places also host recycling bins as well as trash cans. At Menchville, the National Honor Society promotes recycling with blue bins placed in all the classrooms and public spaces in the school.
Little things like opening windows for a cross breeze when it’s hot and opening blinds on cold days to retain sunlight and heat reduce the need for electricity. Reusable items also help reduce the amount of waste going to your local landfill. Things like reusable grocery bags, water bottles, or glass jars are all great alternatives to their throwaway counterparts.
Buying local produce or growing your own produce is another great way to save money, support local business, and help the environment. Students can grow their own produce cheaply, and if you are really interested in gardening there are many local community gardens that you may join to grow fresh produce.
One big way to save a whole lot of energy is by switching to solar power. While solar panels have a high upfront cost, the cost per watt has dropped over 70% making it a much more affordable option to those who are interested. Although, students could always take a more proactive approach and join environmental groups like the James River Association, Virginia’s Conservation Network, or Virginia Outdoor Foundation. All of these organizations are dedicated to the preservation of Virginia’s natural beauty and lush land. Earth Day is a yearly event celebrated in over 193 countries, but it should be every day that we decide to help our environment rather than hurt and degrade the beautiful place we inhabit.