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Editorial

As Earth Day approaches, students can contribute

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April 14, 2010

Earth Day is April 22. After all the snow melted from winter, more and more trash resurfaces in yards all around town. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson declared the first Earth Day in 1970. Regardless of his reasoning, the emergence of garbage after months of hiding under blankets of snow should be reason enough for students, especially, to take action.

UW-River Falls prides itself on being one of few green campuses in the UW System. Heading to the traditions of Earth Day seems to be an obvious task UWRF should tackle, and it can begin with students.

Not only do scatterings of beer cans, nail clippers, cigarettes and socks revealed after the snow melted reflect poorly upon campus, landlords and individual residents, but it can also lead to embarrassment for the community as a whole. The aesthetic experience when people come to River Falls should a be pleasant one, but that can’t be expected with random chunks of garbage decorating the town’s lawns.

In elementary schools across the nation, children and teachers team up to plant trees on Earth Day, and itís not uncommon, even, to have week-long events as recognition of this important time of year. As college students, it’s unrealistic to expect everyone to plant a tree, but picking up the trash in your neighborhood isn’t too much to ask.

In addition to resisting the urge to litter, as the weather is getting warmer and warmer with each day, it’s plausible to assume students should take on the responsibility of walking to campus, instead of driving. Driving, as everyone knows, can be harmful for the environment.

UWRF hasn’t listed any specific Earth Day-geared events on its Web site’s calendar, but that doesn’t mean that students should shy away from getting themselves involved. A student can do their own, small part and still make a difference in the big picture. Even if the trash isn’t a result of their own littering, picking up garbage on the walk to class or informing a faculty member that a garbage can could be emptied are things a student can do to make a small, but important difference.

The week of April 19 is considered Earth Week, and the 22nd is national Earth Day. Even though it’s important to keep Mother Nature in the back of your mind every day, Earth Day is an excuse for everyone to team up and prove that they support UWRF’s drive toward the green initiative.