Eastside presents a celebration of Earth Day. (Melissa Vital ('23))
Eastside presents a celebration of Earth Day.

Melissa Vital ('23)

Eastside’s Earth Day

April 22, 2021

Save the planet! Save the turtles! Remember that one year where everyone cared about plastic straws and the craze just went away? While it was one form of preventing plastic from damaging Earth’s environment, it did not do anything deep rooted or life-changing. Climate change is the world’s most pressing problem, which must be addressed hopefully sooner rather than later. While the solution to climate change is far more than little changes on an individual basis, you can always feel like you are doing your part and helping the environment from accumulating more piles of plastic and trash. Eastside wishes you a happy Earth Day and urges you to get involved in climate change activism to ensure that our beautiful planet will be safe for many future Earth Days!

Historical importance of Earth Day

Melissa Vital ('23)

April 22 marks a day of awareness about maintaining our environment.

Historical importance of Earth Day

Celebrated annually on April 22, Earth Day holds great significance and historical importance worldwide. Earth Day sheds light on issues concerning pollution of the air, water and soil as well as the loss of biodiversity and even more environmental problems.

Founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson, Earth Day was first initiated in the year 1970. In fact, before the 1970s, there was a great lack of favorable environmental legislation. Industries and companies had the freedom to harm the environment with industrial waste and pollution across the world.

When US Senator Gaylord Nelson decided to take action and create Earth Day, approximately 20 million used this day to Americans protest in the streets against the population’s negligence of urgent environmental problems that affect people globally. Since then, people across the globe utilize April 22 as a day dedicated to activism for the environment. Also, the day began to spread across the globe and gain awareness and recognition.

Now in 2021, the theme for Earth Day is “Restore our Earth,” and to adhere to this theme, individuals can take part in restoring Earth’s natural processes and ecosystems. This year is about healing. The focal point of the theme is not necessarily about stopping global warming and preventing pollution, while that is imperative to our environment, but instead on restoring the harm that has already been done.

Compared to the history of Earth Day, climate change also poses a threat to the environment as it encompasses rising sea levels, shrinking mountain glaciers, accelerated ice melt in Greenland, Antarctica and the Arctic and so much more as it makes significant and long term changes to the global climate.

The Lifeline and Deadline on the Climate Clock inform us of our timeline on what action we need to take and by when. We still have time to avoid climate disaster, but this is only if we take effective action at the rate necessary. We must #ActInTime in the next ~7 years, which is our best window to initiate bold, transformational alterations in our global economy to avoid raising global temperature above 1.5ºC, a point of no return that science tells us will make the worst climate impacts likely inevitable.
The DEADLINE on the clock alerts us to the critical time window we have left to take effective action to combat this predicament
The new LIFELINE on the clock displays the global energy percentage coming from renewable sources — wind, water, solar, and bioenergy. Currently, the Renewable Energy Lifeline is at 12.2% and rising. However, it is not rising nearly fast enough to meet the deadline.
Celebrated annually on April 22, Earth Day holds great significance and historical importance worldwide. Earth Day sheds light on issues concerning pollution of the air, water and soil as well as the loss of biodiversity and even more environmental problems.

What is a carbon footprint?

We must take action to reduce our carbon footprint. (Melissa Vital (’23))

With the transportation industry booming, overpopulation struggles, and fossil fuels coming from all directions for all different activities, carbon admissions are at an all-time high and the environment – as well as the health of our atmosphere – is suffering first hand. On average, around 100 million metric tons of Carbon Dioxide are released into our atmosphere daily, causing global warming like never before and a heavy list of other doom-ridden complications.





Follow this guide to reduce your carbon footprint! (Max Gaffin (’22))

To help the planet – to reverse action and push cleaner conditions – all Earthly citizens must act and contribute to the change. And although Carbon dioxide is an important greenhouse gas that helps to trap heat in our atmosphere and without it, our planet would be inhospitably cold, too much CO2 can lead to warmth and break down at confounding rates. Now, with ice caps melting and an increased number of forest fires, the planet suffers from the latter – warmer temperatures, destruction, floods, droughts, and so many more natural disasters.

The push for climate change does not have to start and end with the policymakers in Congress or the health officials at the United Nations, we can take action – and ultimately, help save the environment. How can you reduce your carbon footprint? Many may know the basic and most advertised ways to reduce carbon emissions like carpooling, taking public transportation, turning off the lights, taking the stairs, recycling, and saving water, however, there are so many more ways to reduce carbon emissions on a personal level.

The dramatic increase of carbon in our atmosphere will soon cause even more premature deaths and diseases to humans around the globe. By taking such simple steps as turning off the water and opening windows, we can diminish the number of Greenhouse gases in the airspace to create and push healthier living conditions.

A person’s personal carbon footprint measures their behavior’s impact on global warming. Someone who effectively wants to contribute to stopping the global climate crisis, on an individual scale, needs to be able to measure and keep track of their personal carbon footprint. By setting goals, living life safely, and reducing waste, the environment can get a fresh breath of air and we can work to stop global warming altogether.

What is spring cleaning?

As the long, cold winter comes to a close and spring makes its way into the atmosphere, a lot of people are consumed by the sudden urge to deep clean their living space. This seasonal desire is known as “spring cleaning” and it’s become an annual event for most families.

Spring cleaning, although it has a lot to do with natural human instinct, has some influence from Jewish and Iranian culture.

During Passover, a holiday that marks the Jews’ escape from Egypt, keeping leavened bread in their homes was considered disrespectful towards God. Therefore, they would clean their homes before the beginning of Passover, which occurs around April, to make sure no bread was left behind. Another cultural tradition that has had a heavy impact on the notion of spring cleaning is one that was developed by the Iranians. They would deep clean their homes to welcome the new year. The Chinese had a similar custom where they would clean their homes to get rid of any lingering misfortune in their homes.

The drastic change from winter to spring makes many people feel like spring cleaning is a necessity for their household. However, the notion of tidying up one’s whole home can be extremely daunting and difficult.
Some tips for a successful spring cleaning experience are to: tackle the mess room by room, clear the clutter and keep cleaning supplies to a minimum.

Spring Cleaning Checklist

This Earth Day, start using our spring cleaning checklist. (Yen Son (’22))

My spring cleaning experience

As spring is approaching, our closets need to be decluttered in order to make way for new purchases. During the pandemic, we all have this extra time at home and it is the perfect opportunity to delve into our closets and see what we need to keep, what we need to discard, and what can be donated or consigned.

Spring Cleaning Experience:
I like to start these projects by grabbing three trash bags, one each for the three categories listed above. This makes sorting super easy and fun.

During the pandemic, Marie Kondo came up with a new series “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” which is about decluttering our homes and is called the KonMari Method. This method is about eliminating items from our homes by keeping only things that speak to our hearts and discard items that no longer spark joy as mentioned in the show. For me, I like to begin the process with my three trash bags in hand and open my closet doors and evaluate each clothing piece to see if it is still my style, still fits, or is still something that brings me joy.

Izzy Sobel (’23) donates to Goodwill. Sobel’s experience can also be found on the story highlight “Takeovers 8” at @eastsideonline Instagram. (Izzy Sobel (’23))

As I begin digging through my closet, I pull out some of my shorts from last summer and find a
few pairs that are outdated or do not fit that I can easily toss into the donation bag. Next, I find new with tags T-shirts that I have never even put on to resale since I cannot see myself wearing that this season. I would then upload pictures of these items to Poshmark, Depop, Etc. In the past, I have had good success selling my old clothes and shipping it out to customers. This helps me by earning some money for my future purchases.

Next stop, I try to fill the third bag with items that are not in good enough condition for consignment or donation. For me, this means items that have been heavily used, torn, and or stained. When I’m evaluating items to keep, I try to ask myself… Can I see myself wearing this again? Is this still my style? Is there something I could get by selling this? Marie Kondo says, “The important thing in tidying is not deciding what to discard but rather what you want to keep.” Do not forget all those bags heading to donation can be donated right here in our community to help local charities.

I recently did a Takeover on Eastside’s Instagram showing my donation bag and drop it off at the local Goodwill donation center in Woodcrest Shopping Center. However, there are also many other local charities in need of clothes. Don’t forget the local animal shelters are always in need of sheets, towels, and blankets for the animals. I hope you find this to be helpful in your own spring cleaning challenges and this type of upcycling definitely minimizes waste.

Vegan for the Day

Being a vegan means adopting a plant-based diet and avoiding all foods that come from animals. These foods include meat, milk, butter, cheese, or any animal based products.

Vegan Experience:
Going into today, I was nervous that I wasn’t going to be able to find any food that I like because I usually depend heavily on meat and dairy products for my diet. However, it was not as difficult as I thought it would be and I really enjoyed all of the different meals that we had.

People choose to go vegan for many different reasons. Here are just a few.

Living a healthier lifestyle. Studies show that going vegan can lead to living a longer life, improve physical well being, and promotes weight loss. Many people who chose to live a vegan lifestyle often said that they felt better about what they are putting into their body. Many people believe that eating meat will help increase physical shape however there are vegan supplements that produce physical benefits.

Saving the environment. Before going Vegan for the day, Devyn and I researched the impact that veganism has on the environment. More than half of our greenhouse gas emissions are accounted for by livestock and their byproducts. Also, by going vegan it would slowly ease animal cruelty and deforestation needed for farmland. Because veganism is beneficial to the environment, many people choose this diet for the positive environmental impact.

After going vegan for the day, I can relate to why people would want to adopt this into their diet. After the day Devyn and I both felt healthier and better knowing that we were putting healthy food into our body to fuel our day. I would highly suggest for people to try going vegan (even if it is for just one day) and check out some of our recipes for inspiration.

My take on vegan meals

The growing problem of cosmetic waste

Cosmetic waste is an environmental problem that is too often overlooked in the grand spectrum of reducing one’s carbon footprint. This could wind up being a leftover concealer bottle that is discarded onto the Earth’s land or loads of body wash bottles to wind up in the ocean. Not only do these products contain extremely harmful chemicals which are unsafe for the environment and animals, but these chemicals can be unsafe for you to use.
Instead of me dissuading you from purchasing more Bath and Body Works and other brands which come in unsustainable packaging, I will explain to you why you can switch to more eco-friendly companies which protect the environment and ensure that you will stay clean and fresh.

To begin, instead of using body wash, lotion, and Tree Hut scrubs, you can switch to using body bars, basically each of these products in a bar form. Not only do these products ensure that you remain plastic free, but they also ensure that the soap is safe and protects your body and skin.

Next, for skin care products, two ingredients that have been used in newer items are beeswax and squalane. These two are really safe for the environment and replace squalene, an oil extracted from sharks that have been used in skin care products.

The cosmetic and skin care world is beginning to gravitate towards the production of items which are packaged and made sustainably and do not cause the environment anymore harm. One main company which proves to be dedicated towards being environmentally conscious is Aveeno.
The next time that you feel the need to purchase more skin care products, perhaps opt for more sustainable products that are safer for the environment.

Find local organic shopping centers in the area

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