Take the Earth Day Challenge, Do Something to Protect the Planet


Mattea Vecera, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

In less than a week from now, Earth Day 2019 will take place. Every year on April 22, it is celebrated with events worldwide “in support of the environment and to raise awareness for the environmental protection and care of our planet.”

Some of the different ways people have participated in past years were by picking up garbage left outside, planting trees, properly recycling, avoiding eating meat, composting and volunteering at environmental organizations.

One of the easiest (and arguably most fun) ways to participate in this event is by replacing your normal mode of transportation with either walking or biking.

Cars are one of the leading contributors to air pollution and carbon output, greatly affecting the environment. According to National Geographic, vehicles produce about one third of all U.S air pollution. However, it wouldn’t be reasonable to say that we should get rid of them altogether.

A small step towards minimizing this problem is as simple as using a car less and using forms of self-locomotion more often. Beyond helping the environment, there are many personal benefits.

  1. You won’t get stuck in morning traffic or have to worry about not getting a good parking spot in the lot.
  2. You’ll save money on gas.
  3. You will get in your exercise for the day.
  4. Being outside is a refreshing start to the morning.
  5. Studies show that cycling can improve your mental health.
  6. You’ll feel more connected to your surroundings.
  7. It will help save the planet.

Despite these reasons, not many students who have the choice to either drive to school or cycle choose the latter. The reason: it’s inconvenient.

Yes, this would require the alarm to be set significantly earlier to provide enough time for the commute, but it is worth it for the reasons listed above.

A fun way to participate could also be to convince a friend to do this with you. The time will fly by if you bring along company to converse or listen to music with. If you’re up early enough, you might even have time to make a pit stop at Starbucks.

So, I urge you to try this at least once. Who knows, maybe you’ll end up loving it.

And, hey, if our principal can do it, so can we.