Top 5 ways to go green on Earth Day

1. Recycle
Though this may seem like an obvious way to make the planet better, many do not recycle. Using the designated recycling bins on and around campus can help reduce the amount of trash strewn about. Recycled items could also be used again. Sorting out paper, plastic, cardboard and glass from your daily trash is a small step to reduce harmful toxins emitted when making those products new. The next time you grab a container of juice before class, remember it was probably made by other recycled plastic bottles. So be sure to toss it in the blue recycle bin when you’re finished.

Andrew S. Avitt/Photographer

Andrew S. Avitt/Photographer

2. Buy used
Thrifting is not such a bad thing, and these days, it is for more than just the hipsters. When you buy an item used, you are essentially allowing it to live longer. By buying a used item and repurposing it, the item has another chance to be used. Every time an item is reused, it is one less thing clogging up a landfill. When an item is bought used, it reduces the amount of resources needed to make it new. Buy used, save the difference and make the Earth a little greener.

3. Use a refillable bottle
There has been a debate as to which is better; bottled water or faucet water. Whichever you may choose is up to you, but using a refillable plastic bottle is a better choice than disposable. Many users instead throw their bottle away when finished with it. Take advantage of the specific water bottle friendly water fountains around campus for easy fill-ups. Whether you enjoy your water from a bottle or a faucet, do not forget to recycle your plastic bottle in the correct designated bin.

4. Don’t be a litterbug
When you are finished with something, put it in the correct designated area whether it be a compost pile or recycle bin.  Instead of throwing old banana or potato peels in the trash, keep an old container in the kitchen and drop them in there after dinner. Once your compost bin is full, spread it in your yard or flower beds to help fertilize your plants. It can help the soil tremendously and does not take a lot of effort to do. In fact, it takes the same amount of time to add something to compost as it does to trash it.

5. Catch a ride
Carpooling or biking to class cuts down on the number of toxins being emitted into the air causing pollution. When the air is cleaner, people are healthier and feel better.  Biking is great because not only are you helping cut down on smog, but you’re getting exercise in as well. For ISU students, the campus is very bike-friendly with bike parking stations outside of nearly every building for those who choose to ride. Make sure to bring a lock if you do ride so someone does not ride off on your bike.

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