It’s officially Earth Day, and that means it’s time to think green. There is a plethora of ways to reduce your carbon footprint just by changing your daily habits.
An easy first step is to participate in Meatless Mondays, something that Daly’s has previously promoted. According to Physicians for Social Responsibility, the average American consumes around 200 pounds of meat every year. You can cut down on your consumption by adopting a vegetarian lifestyle one day a week. In fact, according to the Environmental Working Group, if everyone in the United States avoided meat and cheese for one day a week, it would equal taking 7.6 million cars off of the road in terms of their carbon footprints. There are also major health benefits of switching out meat and cheese for veggies.
Another activity that would significantly decrease your transportation carbon footprint is to utilize other options aside from driving your car. One sustainable alternative is riding a bike, which, according to youcanbikethere.com, eliminates the nearly 13,000 pounds of emissions produced by passenger cars each year. Next time you head to Princeton, opt to use your bike or take advantage of public transportation to cut down your overall footprint.
This Friday, April 25, is Arbor Day and Rider is participating in the celebration by hosting a campus clean-up. Rider should increase its impact by inviting students to decorate the barren pathways near Cranberry’s with small flowers and trees. This is a good way to eliminate some of the greenhouse gases. In a single tree’s lifetime, one ton of carbon will be absorbed. Trees can also provide shade so that an air conditioner is not needed.
Now that spring has sprung, you can save energy by shutting off the television in your dorm and head outside for some fresh air. By unplugging your computer each night for a month, you can save around 51 pounds of carbon. Another way to save energy is to turn off the lights when you leave your dorm. According to the University of Nebraska’s website, “lighting accounts for 5 percent to 10 percent of total energy use.”
Changing small daily habits can have a big impact on energy savings. Remember to switch off your lights when you leave your room, and ride your bike whenever possible. By participating in Earth-friendly activities, you can join in the celebration of Earth Day.
Printed in the 4/23/14 edition.