Going green for good

The term “Going Green” is one we hear quite often these days. It is also a term we recognize immediately as practicing environmentally safe and responsible activities.

It has become a sort of fad to do the right thing in this regard. Granted there are worse trends, however there are some people who don’t know exactly how to participate in this phenomena.
It has become pretty clear that St. John’s is attempting to “Go Green,” although there are some who disagree.

While there are some students who have noticed the subtle changes that have been made on and off campus, there are still some who believe these adjustments are hardly enough.

We have all noticed the recycling bins that have suddenly cropped up all over campus. We see them in Montgoris, in dorm rooms, and just about any building you walk into on campus.

These have certainly multiplied since last semester. Another occurrence resident students have experienced is the newly appointed “Trayless Tuesdays” at Montgoris. Not everyone was entirely thrilled by this attempt to conserve water.

Although these are only a few ways to try to benefit the environment, every great cause has to start somewhere.Even though St. John’s has recognized the seriousness of the condition the Earth is in, there are still people who don’t fully understand the severe effects of global warming. According to livescience.com, the main causes of global warming are believed to be an increase in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases being released by fossil fuels. So how does this effect us?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “Observed effects include sea level rise, shrinking glaciers, changes in the range and distribution of plants and animals, trees blooming earlier, lengthening of growing seasons, ice on rivers and lakes freezing later and breaking up earlier, and thawing of permafrost.”

With these occurrences we are put at higher risk for flooding, intense storms, spread of disease, drought, heat waves and extinction of many animals.

Better Homes and Gardens has posted 10 easy ways to go green. These are both easy and cost efficient. By changing your light bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs you can save a significant amount of energy while investing in a bulb that will last 10 times as long as an ordinary one.

You are saving around 75 percent more energy and all the money you would spend on a light bulb with an ordinary life span.

You should keep in mind that when you leave appliances plugged in, even when they are turned off, they continue to consume massive amounts of energy.

Common culprits are your TV, printer and cell phone chargers. Consider plugging your appliances into a power strip which you can switch off when you are done with them and it will stop the flow of electricity. This could potentially save you an average of 200 dollars a year.

Most people don’t know about recycling electronics. If every person recycled one TV this year it would keep four million pounds of lead out of the ground.

Buying your food from local farmers is another “green” thing to do. By doing this you are cutting out the sometimes 1,500 miles other products travel before they reach your home.

This will prevent a great amount of carbon emissions, not to mention provide you with fresher foods.

Watching water use is a huge way to do your part. Water consumption has increased 200 percent in the last 50 years. Excess has caused predictions that many of us could experience a water shortage within the next six years.

By simply being wary of our water intake and fixing leaking sinks and toilets we would save a substantial amount of water. It may seem insignificant but by fixing these things you could save $30 a month and nearly 73,000 gallons of water a year.

By switching to Energy Star products, which range from light bulbs to kitchen appliances, is an extremely energy-efficient course of action.

Energy Star products save approximately 35 percent more energy, this equals you saving more than $500 a year.

These are very simple methods by which to transcend to a more “green” lifestyle. It requires common sense to recognize that a change needs to be made and to go ahead and be a part of that change.

Global warming is always a current topic because it continues to affect us on a daily basis just as we affect it.

Until everyone takes responsibility for themselves and works to change the effects, global warming will remain a vital issue.