As spring is in full swing, people are starting to enjoy more time outdoors. We as students can take nature for granted, spending time sitting outside doing our homework or walking around our neighborhoods breathing in the fresh air. With this week being dedicated to Earth, a multitude of events are taking place on campus to celebrate all Mother Nature has to offer, and for good reason! We as students need to start appreciating the Earth more.
Nature has several benefits for both our physical and mental health. For example, nature trails are perfect for running, walking and biking. Physical activity paired with nature has immense effects on our well-being, including reduced blood pressure, reduced muscle tension and a halt to the production of stress hormones. Nature has also been proven to show significant boosts to our mental health by improving our attention, lowering our stress and boosting our moods. With all the benefits nature gives us for free, we as students need to take advantage more.
With all the hype around Earth Day, surprisingly enough, taking care of the planet is not talked about enough in school. Growing up, a good portion of us had to take biology, geography or both. We were taught the names of landmarks, food chains and how natural disasters can have an impact on the environment just to name a few. What we are not taught about, however, are the consequences that can occur if we don’t care enough.
Earth provides us with all we need to survive, including food, water and oxygen. The longer we neglect to learn more about how crucial it is for us to take care of the environment, we are only slowly destroying our futures. Climate change has drastic effects on both our health and the planet’s health. There are multiple ways the Earth impacts our daily lives on a small and grander scale. We as students have the power to take initiative and raise awareness on the outcome of the future of the planet.
Small steps can be taken collectively in order to help take better care of the planet. While we as students don’t have to swear off driving and start biking everywhere (definitely not realistic with Minnesota winters,) there are other smaller actions we can take instead. Recycle as much as you can. Turn off the lights when you leave a room that you are not using. Use reusable shopping bags when you go out. By taking the time to educate ourselves on some of the smaller everyday actions, we can all actively pitch in to better the Earth.
Make sure this week you participate in one of the several events here on campus or spend some time outside. Power off your phone, take a walk and enjoy the fresh air (albeit bundled up.) We only have one Earth, so make sure you show it some love.