It’s almost that time of the year again! No, not Christmas, but Earth Day! Earth Day is recognized globally and annually on April 22. As Earth Day approaches, it is important to be reminded of ways to minimize human impact on the environment.
According to NBC News, quarantining is actually benefiting the Earth because emissions from factories and cars are reduced. But as we quarantine, you may wonder how we can continue to minimize our impact when we depend so much on electricity.
Here are some ways to stay green during quarantine and also on a more routine basis at home:
Save electricity when you can! This may be a rudimentary principle, but it’s crucial in times where we have to stay indoors all day. Increasing the use of electricity not only is bad for the environment but also not good for your bodily health!
Revisit your old hobbies or start a new hobby that doesn’t involve electronics. There may not be a ton of options, but there’s still plenty you can do indoors without electricity. You can try knitting, art, reading, music, board games or teaching your pet some new tricks!
Although we are stuck inside all day, the sun is still shining. Instead of electricity, open up your curtains and use sunlight for your living room or bedroom during the day.
Grow fruits or vegetables at home! According to Metropolitan Home Health Services, growing food at home reduces carbon emissions and helps the earth with reducing pesticides. Growing food indoors can also be beneficial to air quality at home and healthier to consume. This saves money and fills up some free time you may have.
Living green at UConn
Many of you may already know the basic tips of maintaining a green environment: reducing the use of water, recycling, reusing, buying organic foods and not using plastic cutlery, to name a few. But it is important to recognize what you can do on campus (tips are based on what I observed at UConn).
Make sure to separate your trash and recycling. There are signs in residential halls with this; However, it is often not helpful as people still continue to place their waste in the wrong bins.
Reduce napkin consumption. Even though the napkins in dining halls are made from sustainable materials, think about how many you may be wasting the next time you grab those five or six sheets. Do you really need to use them all?
Reduce using the elevator if you can. Elevators not only take a lot of energy to operate but are also time-consuming in the long run. Do you really need to use the elevator for only a few floors if you are able to take the stairs?
Consider alternatives instead of driving. U-Passes for Connecticut college students offer free public transportation across the state. Carpooling and using public transportation are effective ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle.
Recycle unused items to friends or strangers! Instead of throwing out unwanted clothes or dorm items, you can recycle them or even sell them. This helps to reduce waste as opposed to just throwing them out.
Lastly, think about washers and dryers when you’re doing laundry. Using cold water reduces the amount of energy used compared to hot water.
As many policies get put in place to alleviate the effects of the Coronavirus, it is important to recognize that if steps are not taken to fight climate change with living a more sustainable lifestyle, issues in our environment will begin to impact us as the Coronavirus is impacting our lifestyles today. Hence it is important to consider environmentally friendly approaches in our daily life.
Amy Chen is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus and can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.