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Editorial: Starting a sustainable future can start with us

This year alone, we’ve seen hurricanes demolish neighborhoods on the East Coast while fires on the West Coast have destroyed stretches of land. These extremes can be devastating to societies and nature.

The state of the climate is reasonable enough to make people uncertain about the future. For some, this uncertainty has manifested as stress, frustration and sadness on par with genuine anxiety and grief.

Some of the groups feeling this most are the younger generation set to grow up in these environments and the scientists working to fend off misinformation and denial in some parts of society.

The issue at hand is one we avoid because we worry about what will inevitably occur if we don’t hold ourselves accountable for the damage we’ve created eventually. It isn’t time to procrastinate on behavioral change, but to take action.

Environmental impact doesn’t have to start at a grand scale. The first efforts can start with yourself.

All the totes and drawstring bags we’ve handed out to students could easily be taken with us when we go shopping at The POD instead of asking for a new bag. Instead of buying plastic bottled water, we could carry reusable bottles to class.

Those merely scratch the surface of ways we can help the environment.

Sorting through your recycling, using up all of your materials before replacing and walking instead of driving somewhere (carpooling if you can) are all ways we can do our part. We can start by reconsidering the necessity of your purchases and their longevity, or make it up by donating to/caring for the environment.

You don’t have to go cold-turkey with producing waste, and not everything can be a perfect replacement, but finding a start is where it’s all about. There’s even people to turn to for even more support and direction.

Students have put forth efforts to implement composting on campus. Find groups on campus who look to make a difference, such as the BU Clean Up Crew, who clean litter off the streets, and the Environmental Club, who work to raise awareness about environmental issues and encourage proactivity in the Bradley community.

As college students, most campus issues aren’t in our direct control. The source of energy that our classroom lights run on, whether our class assignments are printed on recycled paper and how much food is wasted are among many issues decided on by the administration.

However, just because we don’t make the final decision does not mean we can’t have an influence on the outcome. By demanding transparency of the choices Bradley is making and where their efforts have been, a domino effect could start and eventually touch students around the nation and the world.

Along with asking higher educational institutions to take part, we have to demand the same from corporations. They leave us with no choice but to accept single-use goods that turn into micro-plastics to be found in our water supplies, or low-quality products that will end up in landfills.

Making sure that we keep this Earth suitable isn’t just for our benefit. The squirrels, birds, rabbits and other critters that roam Bradley’s quads are just as important to this issue.

By the way, make sure you feed those animals food that would be beneficial to them, as the destruction of their homes for our own housing leaves them to dig in our trash.

We need to be conscious of our impact before and after Earth Day to make a difference. The time is now to put our best foot forward to ensure the future for generations to come.

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