A green Earth is a clean Earth

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Julia O'Sullivan, Staff Writer

On April 22, we celebrate Earth Day, a time to show support for the environment and promote healthy, sustainable living.  This year is Earth Day’s 51st anniversary from when it was founded by Gaylord Nelson in 1970.

Especially in recent years, many changes have been made in popular stores such as Target and Stop & Shop to protect the environment as a result of environmental legislation passed.  Instead of supplying plastic bags at checkout, Target and Stop & Shop ask people to bring in reusable bags.  However, in Stop & Shop, if shoppers don’t have reusable bags on hand, they can pay five cents per paper bag.  Similarly, Target provides reusable bags made of 40% recyclable content that are free at checkout.

“I think it’s really cool how a lot of popular stores that used to give out plastic bags have now switched to more sustainable options,” said sophomore Layla Hershkowitz.

Many popular clothing and footwear brands have also made changes to benefit the environment.  Nike uses recycled materials and redesigned its boxes to reduce the amount of packaging.  Additionally, it is partnering with NASA and other government agencies to turn raw materials into more environmentally friendly goods. 

“One shoe company I love to buy from is Nike because I know that they are more environmentally friendly than a lot of other brands,” said sophomore Gail Rowe.

Despite these developments, , gases emitted from vehicles account for 75% of all carbon monoxide pollution in the United States.  To combat this, many car companies such as Kia and Tesla are coming out with electric cars that inhibit this release of direct gas emissions into the air.

Another big contributor to environmental damage is household waste.  Most of this waste is buried underground in landfill sites which affects human health, wildlife, soil quality, and air quality.  To fight this from your own home, you can make sure to recycle and cut down on the amount of non-recyclable products you buy.  Additionally, make sure to pay attention to what you are throwing away because many disposable items are reusable or recyclable.

“It’s so scary to realize that my family is single-handedly damaging the environment, and that’s why we make sure to recycle and pay attention to what we are buying,” said sophomore Kaitlyn Schwirzbin.

On this year’s Earth Day, everyone should go out of their way to do something that benefits the environment.  For example, you can walk or bike somewhere instead of driving, or can use a refillable water bottle.  Most importantly, you should educate yourself and others on the damage being done to Earth every day.