Going green to save the planet

Brian Cervantez

In today’s age more faculty and students out there are making a conscious effort to go green and recycle. The people who are putting forth the effort to go green have interest in the future generations in the back of there minds. Protecting the environment is important to them because without a clean planet the earth could not be in the best shape and people might pay the ultimate price for it.

Washburn University recently celebrated Earth Week with many activities. One that stood out the most was taking old pop cans and bottles and turning them into flowers out of recycled material.

There are all sorts of things that people can do during the week, like helping in the community by volunteering to help clean up the streets in a neighborhood where it is needed because children could eventually stumble onto the trash and most of the trash is harmful to a child. The future children are the ones to protect because they will be the most effected by no one protecting the environment as of right now.

“We have one Earth and it is our duty to take care of it,” said Yanittzy Gonzalez, a freshman psychology major. “Recycling is very important, but it is only a small piece to the puzzle. “There are other things you could do such as upcycling- using things you no longer use to create something you will use. Like taking an empty can of corn and making it into a pencil holder.”

Earth week is a time when communities and even college campuses come together to spread the word about protecting the planet not only in the short term, but in the long term as well.

The thing college campus and communities need to realize is the fact that protecting the earth is a full time job for everyone no matter where they live on the planet. Taking the time to do everything we can to protect our future ensure the safety of everyone. Helping to protect the planet by recycling trash helps make the air cleaner and safer for everyone.

“I think it’s important for university to give students the options to recycle,” said Sara Escandon, senior social work major. “So, I do not get into trouble for illegally recycling at a church.”

Washburn University has some places on campus where students and faculty can recycle old papers as well as plastic bottles. The fact is that some areas are not in areas that are easy to access for students can make it harder to recycle, especially if they have too much to carry to a recycle bin. Students have said that if there were more places to recycle on campus, they would recycle more.

 “Recycling is important because there is too much stuff to not be reused,” said Tarence Jackson, sophomore communications and psychology major. “Just think of how cool it would be that the water bottle you throw away could become something useful to someone.”

Jackson brought up the fact that some artists use trash to make wonderful pieces of artwork. It just goes to show the public why trash can be anything that someone wants to be. Trash can be put to good use if some thinks of something to do with it.

Communities around Washburn and on campus can use left over food as compost to help make rich soil for the ground because most food can be recycled or turn into compost. Nature can help make the process of recycling easier on people especially when they have there own compost pile in there backyard. The compost helps make plants grow because they have a rich environment to help make them grow strong. 

“Recycling helps keep washburn classy, not trashy,” said Cheyanne Price, sophomore international business major. “It makes our campus look appealing to those inside and outside of campus.”

Having Washburn University look nice is important to many students. When the campus is giving tours to let new students on campus for their first time the students might not want to go to a campus if there is trash everywhere on the campus. Trash on a college campus just makes a campus look unappealing to a new and existing students.

The same goes for parks. If there are too many questionable items of trash in a park a parent will not want their child to be in that park because there could be needles that would make a child very sick. It is important to clean up areas like this so parents can have the sense that their child is safe in an park and the only thing that could harm them is them falling of the playground equipment.

“Recycling is important because we will save the animals by not having plastics rings from six packs of pop floating in the ocean,” said Josoe Hernandes, junior sociology major. “So, the animals have no risk of choking on these rings in the ocean.”

The animals are one of the most forgotten parts of the ecosystem, no matter whether they are on a campus such as Washburn, or in the ocean. If animals die out because of human trash effecting their ecosystem then there could be serious bug problems or over population of one animal species.

The human race needs to realise that animals have to survive because they are a source of food and if they are not around we will lose that food source. An ecosystem of animals is over run by the trash that animal’s habitat could become nothing more than a wasteland.

Animals are a valuable part of the environment and without them helping to keep the order of mother nature than humans would not be around either. Animals help, even on Washburn campus, and even though some students may not see how they benefit the campus they should look at the animals more closely on campus.

“It’s important to recycle because it prevents more trash from littering the earth,” said Olivia Banzet, sophomore history major. “We want to recycle to keep the Earth clean.”

The Earth helps nurture humans and animals so, if people do not take a stand to protect it then the question is who will do it. A college campus is where it needs to start because some students leave trash where it’s the most convenient. The problem with this is younger children see this and they will imitate the older person and the same bad habits, especially if that is someone they look up too.

The faculty on a college campus are the first line of defense to help protect the earth because they can educate students and the harm the non disposable items cause to the earth by releasing toxins into the air that can damage the ozone layer. This is humanity’s only line of defense against the sun’s harmful rays without this layer to protect humans no one would be able to go outside. This is something most everyone forgets about that the Earth does provide some defenses for us and it’s important to protect the environment that protects all life.

“It’s a good feeling to recycle because every little bit helps save the Earth,” said Savannah Smith, sophomore mathematics major. “If we don’t start protecting the environment it won’t be a safe place to live in the future.”

The Earth is already polluted enough without humans making it more unsafe than the environment already is. The Earth in the next several years could be at a tipping point, but there are ways to reverse the process or slow it down. Here are some steps that can be taken to help protect the earth.

First thing that can be done is to use biodegradable paper for wrappers that get thrown that way if they end up in a landfill they will decompose and breakdown. The next step is something that a campus like Washburn can do which would be to have a recycle trash can next to a regular trash so all the plastic silverware can be recycled to be reused for something else in the future.

Another way that can help protect the environment is going to volunteer to help pick up trash in areas that need it the most so the environment can be used again. The one thing most seem to forget is the fact that some of the favorite areas people love to go to the beach and if there are recycle trash cans in these areas more trash would not end up on the ground in those areas where someone could trip over them or get accidentally cut by a sharp object.

The most simple step that can be done is to take the time to find the recyclable trash bins on a university or in the neighborhoods.There are recyclable bins people can go to if the time is taken to go to these places.

If the time is taken to protect the environment then in the long term it will be a benefit for the future generations to walk the earth instead of leaving them with a mess. We can not forget there is already too much trash in landfills and this is the thing that needs to be change before it is too late.

“Everything we can do to protect and save the environment is important and the right thing to do,” said Becky Bolte, Director of the Union at Washburn University.