OPINION: Earth Day should be every day


Emily Escobedo Ramirez, Opinion Writer

Listen to this story:

The budding spring weather of April and Earth Day festivities on the 18th encourages the love and restoration of the Earth, but just one month is not enough. It is a time when days are filled with the initiative of helping heal the earth. Whether it’s school-affiliated, organization-led, or community events, there’s always something going on where one can dedicate time to helping out. While the intentions are clear, there should continuously be activities and awareness happening year-round, not just in April. 

April 22 is the globally recognized day for Earth Day, which was originally held on March 21, 1970. According to a National Geographic Earth Day encyclopedia entry, the reason Earth Day was changed was: “April 22nd did not interfere with Spring Break, final exams, major religious holidays such as Easter, and was late enough in spring to anticipate decent weather for outdoor activities.”

 While other factors played into the decisions of the date, it is interesting the college base was kept in mind. Universities have a responsibility to help bring sustainability to the campus and surrounding environment. With the App State campus surrounded by nature, there is an unspoken, yet known, duty to protect these mountains and wildlife. 

Here at App State, we have an array of events dedicated to spreading awareness and volunteering in the environment this month. And while there are monthly initiatives such as Community-Engaged Leadership’s Days of Service and App State’s sustainability initiatives, it does not take just hours of service or events to be beneficial to the earth. And as college students, there is more stress and limits to how one can support the earth. Yet, these should not be determinants to doing our part. Here are five ways to be helpful that do not require much energy/resources: 

Picking up plastic/trash on the ground

Picking up any items on the ground that are not compostable on any walks can help reduce waste. Carrying it and disposing of it properly will slowly decrease the amount of pollution on campus. This act costs nothing to do and is not time-consuming.


Recycling is a big initiative at App State, with multiple recycling bins both inside and outside of all buildings. The university’s mini bins collection system was created to encourage students to recycle their items within their dorms. These provide students with a built-in area to recycle, thus utilizing it is beneficial for all. Recyclable items can be determined using this list provided by App State’s recycling website.

Using reusable items

A way to eliminate waste via disposable items is the use of reusables. For example, single-use plastic bags are used 100 billion annually, according to The World Counts. Utilizing reusable grocery and tote bags helps decrease the usage, thus decreasing the amount found in landfills, oceans and nature. Similarly, reusable dishes and water bottles eliminate plastic and styrofoam items and allow for multi-use. 

Going out into nature 

Spending time in nature provides one with a renewed sense of beauty and reason as to why helping the earth is important. By walking on nature trails of the Greenway or even marked paths, reconnecting with nature provides an increased incentive to be involved. Supporting National Parks, such as the Blue Ridge Parkway and Grandfather Mountain, is supporting organizations that have a mission to preserve nature. 


Finding time out of one’s day to volunteer is hard, but helping out whenever goes a long way. No matter the scope or intensity, work and dedication are just as important. The university has multiple volunteer events dedicated to sustainability to help out, additionally, Boone has multiple organizations that can use volunteers. 

It is a story retold; everyone must do their part in helping the environment. We must set the bar and be active in the environment. The efforts put into conserving and saving the earth are a waste if we don’t do our part. We are at a point in our lives where we have a voice in this world and begin to help the earth heal from our destruction. Being active in any acts that positively impact the surrounding wildlife is a great step toward rehealing the earth.