30 Days of Going Green: An "Eco" Intro

You wouldn't expect to hear about sustainability in a psychology class, but when I attended the first day of Psychology 1 with Professor David Phillips, I was met with just that.

Although unexpected, it wasn't out of left field. He introduced the evolutionary path of psychology and eventually led the discussion toward the state of our planet's health. Phillips did an excellent job of arguing that the Earth as we know it is dying-- literally. One fact especially startled me; he told us that we only have three to five years to change our ways in order for the Earth to realistically recover.

I couldn't get what I had learned out of my mind, so I took a couple of weeks to do some extensive research and what I've found is disturbing. According to the documentary "The Story of Stuff," in the last three decades we have used one-third of the Earth's natural resources, and we're quickly running out.

With the help of Sustainable Works, a non-profit environmental education organization with a large presence at SMC, I will learn more about what I can do to make a difference.

This is the type of living I will be striving for in the next 30 days. I started a blog, and now I'm starting this series: 30 Days of Going Green. Starting today, Wednesday, March 31, I will take steps to significantly reduce my carbon footprint. I will start with taking the bus or carpooling at least three to four days out of the week; absolutely no driving whatsoever. To learn about sustainable living, I'll be joining Sustainable Works, attending meetings and participating in group projects.

I'm also going to significantly reduce my waste by starting a compost bin, aided by a large plastic compost container, shredded newspaper, red worms (Eisenia fetida), and some of my daily food waste (eggshells, moldy bread, etc.).

By the end of the 30 days I hope to reach at least five days of trash-free living per week. What exactly is trash-free living? It means just that, no waste whatsoever. I will only buy/use things that I can compost, reuse or recycle, leaving me with literally no trash to throw away. I've already located JG Recycling Company down the street from my apartment which will take care of all the non-curbside recycling I have, like medicine bottles, plastic bags, and bottle caps. If this sounds a bit surprising, hold tight: I'll also let you in on the various kinds of plastics that can be recycled in the blue bin.

So far, I've been able to make some small changes. With the advice of Gina Garcia, the Sustainable Works Coordinator, I rented two of my books for school from Chegg.com, where they plant a tree for every book rented instead of bought (that's two trees planted for me!). She also advised me on small ways to make a difference, such as consistently using less water by turning off the faucet when brushing my teeth or taking shorter showers. She says to make a five-minute shower the ultimate goal, but being a 19-year-old girl, I can tell it's going to be a struggle.

See? That wasn't so bad. A little sacrifice from me for Mother Earth and I think I just may live. I will keep you updated through the printed edition of the Corsair and via my online blog. I know it will be difficult, but not impossible, so I'm up for the challenge. Keep an eye on thecorsaironline.com and remember to stay green!