April 22 marks Earth Day, an international day set to show appreciation to the world and draw attention to the fact that it must be protected.
The landscapes of the natural world can be seen as beautiful and bold but are not indestructible. Earth Day can be a time to start caring about creation and learning to have conscious habits.
It can be easy to write off environmental care as a tree-hugging, go-green fad. However, if students look past what is often regarded as the environmental trend, they may realize the importance and seriousness of the environmental issue.
“In the Bible, God asks us to become his stewards, to take care of his creations,” said Dr. Bonjoo Koo, professor of environmental science at California Baptist University.
The environment is more than mere towering mountains and violent oceans, it is a system of sustainability.
Many believe humans have contributed to the state of the earth and owe it to the environment to be more responsible.
“A lot of people take advantage of the environment,” said Dr. Jacob Lanphere, assistant professor of environmental science. “They dump their waste and think the soil or the ocean will just clean it up. However, that’s not the case.”
Tackling environmental degradation may seem major, but there are ways to do it.
“Unplug your cords when you’re not using appliances and devices; that can save energy which requires our environmental resources,” Koo said.
Combining environmental care with an enjoyable activity can be a way to promote change.
“Next time you go to the beach, spend 30 minutes walking along the beach picking up trash,” Lanphere said. “You will be amazed at what you see. You didn’t see the trash there before because you were looking at the ocean.”
Stephanie Lara, senior environmental science major, learned the difference between recyclable and non-recyclable items when the environmental science club on campus teamed up with Burrtec Waste Management to educate students.
“I was shocked when I thought I was being ‘green,’ yet I was throwing away most of my trash that was considered recyclable in the landfill bin,” Lara said. “It’s small actions like that, that can make a small impact on the amount of waste we can recycle and reuse.”
CBU’s environmental science club is one way for students to stay informed about environmental issues and participate in a community of environmentally conscious peers.
“The club has provided interesting opportunities for students and faculty on campus to interact in our own way with the environment,” Lara said.
Recognizing the earth provides life can help in growing appreciation that brings action.