Earth Week turns 40

Katie Goad
is an IU junior.

Since the first Earth Week in 1970, the United States has had many successes. We have the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act as well as a better understanding of environmental issues. Although it has become somewhat fashionable to care about these issues, there are still many things Americans can do to help the Earth. What can you do? This Earth Week, I want to share the three simplest environmental concepts: the three R’s.

The first, and most important, is the concept of reducing your consumption.

Do you need that third pair of running shoes when your other two are just fine? Do you need to drive to the grocery on a beautiful day when all you need is bread and the walk is less than a quarter of a mile? Probably not. And although even the most hard-core environmentalist isn’t perfect, just being able to consider your needs over wants is an important step in reducing pollution, saving resources and saving money.

The second concept is to reuse.

Not only is shopping at places like Goodwill, The Salvation Army and Opportunity House great for saving money and helping local people while keeping money in Bloomington, but by purchasing used goods you are helping to reduce production of new goods, which results in the use of fossil fuels. In some cases, you don’t even have to open your wallet. The other day, for example, I used a milk jug cut in half from my recycling bin to use as a watering can.

The third concept is the importance of recycling.

The last in the hierarchy because of the energy it takes, recycling still plays an important role. It requires less energy to recycle than mining for new materials, and it keeps garbage from entering landfills. Bloomington has a great program for residents and a great facility on South Walnut Street.

Taking care of the Earth is important because we only have one Earth, so make it a great Earth Week and check out INPIRG’s events on Facebook for information about our film screening and a chance to recycle your beer cans and eat a great post-Little 5 brunch at Hillel on Sunday. Have a great Earth Week, and please keep Bloomington beautiful this Little 500.

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