Earth Day provides an opportunity to promote change

Earth Day used to be a bigger deal for us when we were in elementary school and given construction paper to make celebratory crafts with or soil to plant seeds in. But, at that age, we really didn’t know why the Earth needed saving; heck, when most of us were growing up, “sustainability” was a relatively up-and-coming term. So it’s crazy to think that over the span of our 20-something years we have hurt our home so much. Now, no one expects one of you — or even all of us here at Trinity — to save the Earth in one week. But over the course of our lives, we should try to be a little more aware.

This past week Trinity hosted Earth Week with lectures and activities to remind everyone that there is a holiday in April besides Easter, and it is called Earth Day. Technically, the official holiday is on April 22. This is the first official day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and of fall in the Southern Hemisphere and was chosen to be Earth Day for this reason.

This Sunday, if you want to celebrate Earth Day, engage with the earth and ignore your TV. For those of you that live off campus, spend 20 minutes walking down your street and pick up any trash you see. Ride your bike or walk instead of driving (if you can). Today (Friday) there is an art exhibit entitled “Exposing Connectivity Through Waste” from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. in the Tigers’ Den. The first step towards helping with the fight for conservation is acknowledging that the problem exists; visit the exhibit and see for yourself.

This weekend, make your way over to the baseball field for the “ZERO WASTE AT THE BALLGAME” event (3-game SCAC series vs Austin College). Times are Saturday at 1 p.m and 4 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. This student-coordinated effort’s goal is to make this Trinity baseball series a “zero waste” event. All the events you saw happening this week were made possible by Campus Planning and Sustainability, Facilities Services, Students Organized for Sustainability and Trinity University Community Gardening Club.

Did you know that if every newspaper was recycled, we could save about 250,000,000 trees each year? Sadly, only 27 percent of all American newspapers are  recycled. For those of you fond of chocolate, be conscious next time you toss a wrapper. More than 20,000,000 Hershey’s Kisses are wrapped each day, using 133 square miles of tinfoil. All that foil is recyclable, but not many people realize it, according to the blog “yumsugar. “

So, back to our childhoods, do you remember Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax? While the rhymes, pictures and characters were fun, the book is a warning to anyone who is silly enough to think their actions don’t have an impact greater than themselves. Now, the book has been turned into a delightful movie, and everyone should listen to the message of the Lorax:

The Lorax: “I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues. And I’m asking you sir, at the top of my lungs – that thing! That horrible thing that I see! What’s that thing you’ve made out of my truffula tree?”

The Once-ler: “Look, Lorax, calm down. There’s no cause for alarm. I chopped just one tree, I’m doing no harm. This thing is most useful! This thing is a “thneed.” A thneed, a fine something-that-all-people-need! It’s a shirt. It’s a sock. It’s a glove! It’s a hat! But it has other uses, yes, far beyond that. You can use it for carpets, for pillows, for sheets, for curtains! Or covers for bicycle seats!”

The Lorax: “Sir, you’re crazy. You’re crazy with greed. There’s no one on earth who will buy that fool thneed! “

[a man drives by, buys the thneed and pays the Once-ler]

The Once-ler: “The birth of an industry, you poor, stupid guy! You telling me what the public will buy?”

Happy Earth Day!