10 Ways to Help the Environment this Summer


Patrycja Chrzanowska, Editor in Chief

Rising sea levels, extreme weather, an ice free arctic; we have already seen some of the devastating effects of climate change and pollution. 97 percent of climate scientists agree our planet is changing, and we’re partly to blame. It’s time to take action and save the Earth, because there’s no Planet B. We all have to do our part. Here are a few things you can do this summer to help the environment.

  1. Educate yourself.
    • First thing’s first, do some research and educate yourself about the environmental issues. This will make it easier to prioritize the environment over convenience. Additionally, it will make it easier to spread awareness.

  2. Recycle.
    • Ok, this one’s sort of obvious, but it’s always good to be reminded to recycle. And recycling refers to more than just tossing plastic water bottles in recycling bins. Although that’s important, recycling also means donating your old clothes, books, toys, etc. so they could be reused instead of being thrown out. Recycling means you might have to take a moment to think of a creative way to reuse something that you would’ve otherwise thrown away.

  3. Avoid taking cars or carpool when you can.
    • Cars emit so many greenhouse gases and the more of them we have on our roads, the worse. Obviously, sometimes you need a car to get around, but most of the time you only use it for convenience while there are other, more environmentally friendly options. Try to carpool or use public transportation when you can, or better yet, walk, ride a bike, or skateboard. Sure these means of transportation aren’t always the most convenient ways to get around, but sometimes cars are unnecessary and unnecessarily pollute the environment. If you’re traveling a short distance, perhaps to a friend’s house or a store, don’t use a car if it’s unnecessary.

  4. Cut down your meat consumption/ grow your own food.
    • It may seem strange that cutting down on meat could help the environment, but the meat packing and meat shipping industries pollute the environment way more than you may think. Obviously, being vegan isn’t for everyone and it’s understandable if you don’t want to cut out meat completely, but making a conscious effort to cut down at least a little bit will still make a difference. Buying locally or growing your own food also reduces shipping pollution.

  5. Plant a tree.
    • Believe it or not, trees can do so much to reduce global warming if there is enough of them. CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) is a greenhouse gas. Well trees take that CO2 and turn it into Oxygen. Basically, more trees equals less CO2 and more oxygen. So plant a tree this summer, or plant a few.

  6. Use Ecosia.
    • How many times a day do you use google? Or another search engine? Chances are, quite often, especially if you’re online a lot for school and work. What if I told you, you could help the environment every time you looked something up in the internet? Well, you could. Just use Ecosia. Ecosia is a search engine. It works just like google or any other search engine, however, Ecosia uses the profit it makes from your searches to plant trees. And if you set Ecosia as your default browser, you won’t even have to remember to use it.

  7. Use reusable straws and cups rather than plastic. 
    • Metal straws have been a huge trend lately and understandably so. Plastic straws have been plaguing landfills and our oceans and harming wildlife. The same is true about other single use plastic items such as water bottles and plastic cups. It’s time to cut down our plastic use by using reusable straws, cups, and bottles. Check out these products in the links below. (And if you’re out buying these products in store, use a reusable bag rather than plastic.)
  8. Shop with the environment in mind.
    • Consider buying products made of recycled material. For example, Vans released a line of eco friendly shoes created in part from recycled material and many brands have made eco friendly backpacks from recycled water bottles. Additionally, consider buying more eco friendly products like bamboo toothbrushes instead of plastic ones because plastic toothbrushes aren’t biodegradable.

  9. Use less food packaging.
    • Next time you go grocery shopping, think about how much plastic is used to package the food you buy. If a product is prepackaged, then you don’t really have control over how much plastic is used, but you can cut down on products that use an unnecessary amount of packaging, especially plastic. Additionally, when buying produce and deli meats, don’t use plastic. Instead, bring your own reusable bags, containers, or jars. Most grocery stores are okay with this and it is much more eco friendly.

  10. Participate in marches, protests, and strikes.
    • There’s only so much you can do yourself. Take part in a protest to spread awareness and inspire others to join in on the mission to save our planet. Upcoming events near here include:

Starting good, eco friendly habits like the ones previously mentioned is crucial for keeping our planet in tact. Make sure you do your part, and convince others to do so to.