OPINION BY NATALIE LARIMER
Our planet is kind of important. It supports our life and provides for us. The least we could do is repay it a little and be nice to it. But how do we do that? Here are some tips. (I’m going to sound a bit like an annoying hippie in this. I apologize.)
Actually recycle: It’s really easy. Just take that piece of paper you were about to throw into your garbage can and throw it a little to the left and put it in that strange blue bin that’s included in every dorm. Recycling allows for certain products to be reused and therefore kept it from the dump, where it would just contribute to the intense greenhouse gases rising from the piles of trash.
Bike to places nearby that usually require driving: Not only are you being eco-friendly, you’re knocking out one of your weekly workouts.
Cars are very convenient, but also very terrible about releasing harmful gases into our air. Not only is it polluting the atmosphere and destroying our ozone layer, but it’s also causing us to breathe in harmful chemicals all over the place. Ever notice how in big cities you tend to cough more?
Participate in Meatless Mondays: Yes, this might be hard, but just try and get a salad and some soup for lunch instead of a hamburger. You can even have pizza. Meatless Mondays are a simple way to reduce the amount of animals killed in preparation of your meals. It also limits the amount of preservatives you’re ingesting, forcing you to eat slightly healthier.
Compost at Quad: The orange bins are stationed by the trash cans at Quad for composting, but there are some rules in place.
Plastic cannot be composted, so throw away all silverware, chip bags, straw wrappers and anything else made of plastic that you have with your meal. Food or everything made of paper can be composted. If you’re confused, there are neon posters stationed with the compost bins.
Use the water bottle filling stations: At most of the drinking fountains on campus, there’s a special dispenser just for filling up your water bottles. So instead of wasting disposable plastic bottles, use a reusable bottle.
Time your showers: Next time you take a shower, time yourself and see how long it takes you. Then, try to cut down that time to be more conservative of the water you’re using. For instance, if you notice you’re taking seven minute showers, but you could be done in five, start challenging yourself to get done in five minutes. Start a game with yourself to see how quickly you can finish your shower.
Buy local organic produce: Yeah, college students don’t usually buy farm fresh produce, but in case any of you have a craving for tomatoes, make sure to buy organic produce. The Des Moines Farmers’ Market is a great place to go looking for organic foods, and it’s very smart to do so. By buying organic, you aren’t getting produce that was grown with the help of pesticides, which have contributed to the loss of about half the bee population (which are vital in the production of about 1/3 of all our food) and are also harmful to our bodies.
Use reusable bags: Underclassmen all have one. The Drake Environmental Action League provided one in everybody’s mailbox. Just bring it with you to Walgreens or the C-Store so you can carry your groceries without the bag breaking, as well as being environmentally friendly.