How you can help on Earth Day
Posted April 17, 2009
The four R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Reconsider, is the theme for the University of La Verne 2009 Earth Day celebration, which will be held April 22.

Not just because of the University’s celebration, but because recycling and all of the above are important, we are continuing our series on going green.

Going green. What does that really mean? It means that in some way you are doing your part to help make Earth a more sustainable and environmentally friendly planet, since it is the only Earth that we have. And we all only have one life to get it right.

Though it may sound like a daunting task to go green, there are many things that you can do and that you may already be doing, that are simple and even economically sensible as well.

The most simple and one of the most obvious things to do is recycle. This is made especially easy at places like ULV that have color coded trash cans specifically for recyclable materials such as paper and plastic.

Instead of throwing your rough drafts in the trash, walk to the nearest blue bin on campus and toss them there. Recycling is not just for paper and plastic. Do not forget about cans, glass and aluminum foil.

Recycling is an easy way to start making the switch to a more green lifestyle, but reusing can be just as easy if not easier.

You know those clothes in the back of your closet that you do not wear any more? Instead of just tossing them in the garbage, consider donating them to places like the Goodwill or the Salvation Army or another organization that accepts such donations. You can also repurpose things like t-shirts and use them as rags for dusting and cleaning. It is a lot cheaper and less wasteful than buying single-use rags.

What else can you reuse repurpose? Plastic bags.

By reusing and repurposing items, you are also reducing. If everyone reused items instead of throwing them away, that would save a lot of waste.

Reducing is extremely important for places like California. The most valuable and precious resource that we have, water, needs to be used carefully. Try watering early in the morning. Monitor your sprinklers if they are automatic. When it rains, turn them off so that you are not wasting water. The rain will provide enough water to keep your plants alive and healthy.

It is not just the watering that needs to be monitored, but the use of water inside the house as well.

Instead of taking a bath every night, take a shower. That does not mean taking a 45-minute shower; try something more along the lines of 5 minutes. And when you brush your teeth, do not leave the water running.

Energy use also needs to be reduced. Energy could be reduced by about 30 percent by using products with the EnergyStar label. You can also reduce energy by unplugging things like cell phone chargers stereos and printers when they are not in use.

And do not forget cleaning products. They are costly and often hazardous to the health of the person using them as well as children and pets.

Instead of busting out the 409, try using natural products like vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda.

This is not rocket science and it is not asking a whole lot. Just think out the things you do. Give a little more thought to how you use things and why you buy them. Ask yourself, “Do I really need this?” Reconsider how you are living and think about little things you can do to be green. And it may even save you a little green.

For more information about Earth Day, visit

earthday.net. And do not forget to come out for ULV’s celebration of Earth Day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can bring items such as batteries, ink cartridges, plastic bags, appliances and clothing to be recycled.

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