Photo by Jessica Johnson.
Dixie State University students and faculty are celebrating Earth Day in the most Earth-saving way.
Not only are students and faculty celebrating on April 22, but they are celebrating every day and encouraging other students and faculty at DSU to do the same.
“The major thing we can do is to reduce our use of one-time use items,” said Tracey O’Kelly, adviser of the sustainability club. “It’s a bit of a struggle and may be inconvenient, but once you do it, it becomes very easy and just second nature to you.”
O’Kelly said in addition to reducing the use of one-time items, everyone can turn off the water when brushing your teeth, take shorter showers, use a reusable water bottle and cups, try to walk around campus instead of driving from class to class, and use less of everything that needs to be thrown away.
The DSU Sustainability Club said it suggests to use the recycling provided on campus. DSU provides recycling for metal cans, plastic bottles and containers, paper and cardboard.
“Every piece of plastic since its invention in 1907 is still in existence; it doesn’t biodegrade and it doesn’t go away,” said Cadence Summers, a senior English major from West Valley City and president of the DSU Sustainability Club.
In addition to physically doing what we can to clean up the Earth, we also need to recognize the political and economic impact, Summers said.
“Students should educate themselves about local conservation issues, climate change, politics and economics,” said Geoff Smith, assistant professor of biology.
Smith said if we don’t act now to start doing things to help save the planet, resources will eventually run out.
“To be clear, the planet will be fine regardless of our actions,” Smith said. “It’s us [humans] and lots of other life forms that are being hurt by the things we do. To improve the outcomes for wildlife, ecosystem services, and the health and wealth of future generations, Election Day should be the rallying date, not Earth Day.”
Summers said DSU is not hosting any events this year in celebration of Earth Day, but students can easily find other cleanup events going on around town.
The city of Springdale is hosting its 15th annual Zion Canyon Earth Day celebration on April 20 from 1-6 p.m. The event will have live music, food and climate-friendly festivities, according to the Springdale city website.
“I think that students should recognize the importance of caring for the Earth because just like a house or a dorm room or anything we need to take care of the place that we live so that it’s a pleasant place for plants and animals and people to be,” Summers said.