Staff Editorial: Protecting the planet beyond Earth Day

By Duke Staff

April 22 was Earth Day, an annual event celebrated around the globe that places an emphasis on the protection of our great planet. Since the ‘70s, it’s been commonplace for individuals to plant trees, recycle and clean up litter on the special day. But just because Earth Day is behind us doesn’t mean we should stop our efforts to make up for some of the harm we have done to our planet over the years such as the destruction of the Ozone layer, careless littering and so much more.

Duquesne has already taken great measures to “green up” our school facilities. For the seventh year in a row, Duquesne has been recognized as an Atlantic Top 10 Green Power User among other schools. The University has also consistently received awards of excellence for individual buildings as well, as Des Places Residence Hall earned the Gold Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, according to a press release from the University.

However, just because our University has been nationally recognized does not mean we as students should give up on doing our part year round. With the amount of resources Duquesne has, it’s easier than ever.

Separate your plastics from papers when throwing away trash. Skip plastic bottles altogether in exchange for a reusable one to use at one of the many on campus filtration units. Pitch in to one of the many on-campus events held year round by different clubs or organizations which assist in conserving the earth such as the Spring Clean-up held April 12 sponsored by Spiritan Ministries.

And if you live off campus, we haven’t forgotten about you either. Spend the extra 50 cents for the reusable bags while grocery shopping. Take the time to look out for organic products and even take a trip to the Strip District to support local farmers. Rather than pay the whopping $1,405 year-long price for a parking pass in Duquesne’s garage, look for alternate modes of transportation. Port Authority monthly bus passes cost a fraction of that price. Although buses are not eco-friendly it is better to have multiple people take public transportation as opposed to everyone driving a car. Besides buses, biking is a great option as well for transportation around the city. It is not only more eco-efficient but also healthier for both you and Earth.

Duquesne is already working toward creating a more sustainable environment for its citizens and students, but without the help of its people, its efforts will be in vain. Don’t wait until 2015 to do your part. Our Earth can’t wait that long.