Come together: Every green action counts

Although Earth Week is celebrated worldwide, the issues surrounding the event can hit college students directly. Observed by people of all ages, the event actually began on a college campus. Earth Week, which is April 16-22, was created in 1970 by a committee of students from the University of Pennsylvania, along with professionals and businessmen, who did not think that one day was enough time to devote to the environment because of all the issues at hand.

It is our generation that is going to be affected by major problems hitting the Earth. Our generation will have to deal with a lack of resources, pollution, energy, overpopulation and climate change.

At Illinois, students have been doing a great job in recognizing the problems and working to combat them. In honor of Earth week, there are a multitude of events taking place on campus in order to increase awareness for the entire community. On Thursday, there will be a Go Green RSO Fair on the Quad where various environmentally conscious organizations will all be present to spread awareness about green issues.

But opportunities arise during the rest of the year, too. A Green Career Fair comes to Illinois every year, where eco-friendly companies approach students about jobs relating to the environment. Residence halls have recently taken new approaches to being green by encouraging students to turn off electricity, starting recycling programs and having some cafeterias go tray-less.

All these approaches prove that many members of the University community understand the issues at hand and the need to make a difference. Remember that anyone can help.

One of the greatest parts of being a college student is having the opportunity for innovation.

With the resources on campus, there are countless opportunities to develop new ways to save our ecosystem. Our campus has no shortage of incredibly passionate and well-informed students who have been the catalyst for real change in both our campus and our community.

But you don’t have to be a super-energetic environmentalist to make a difference. You just have to live responsibly. Turn off the lights when you leave for class. Take five fewer minutes in the shower. Try to read more assignments online instead of printing them out. Walk or take the bus instead of driving.

Earth Week might only be once a year, but the issues should be recognized every day. Anyone can be green, anywhere and anytime. The question is, what are you doing right now to save our earth? The answer starts with you.