Live and Learn

Luis Bahena
City Times

Does St. Patrick’s Day still strike a fear in me to remember to wear green? Not necessarily. It was more of an issue back when I was in middle school and kids used to go around giving nipple twisters for those unfortunate lads who forgot to wear their green (in case you don’t know what that is, trust me when I say that you don’t want to know; not knowing is a good thing).

But now, wearing green, sometimes almost literally (think 100% cotton as opposed to the actual color), is a lot different then it was before. People aren’t just wearing green, they’re going green. The term “go green” is in relation to doing your part to saving the environment.

In fact, more and more civilians are doing their part in going green. And truth be told, going green should be something that everyone does on a daily basis and not just a few times a year whenever St. Patrick’s Day or Earth Day rolls around.

We’ve all heard about Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth”, so we should all be pretty aware of the threats of global warming. Of course, there’s still much debate on global warming, but one must check out these past few weeks to realize that the weather seems a bit off lately.

Cold and rainy one day, then hot and sunny the next doesn’t seem right! Shouldn’t we still be in the last few days of winter? It’s been awfully warm lately for it to still be winter, unless spring is speedily approaching.

Yes, going green sounds like a good idea if we want to start preserving our way of life here on our beautiful home we call Earth.

And no, you don’t have to join a club to go green, but it never hurts to be informed. For instance, the Go Green Initiative is a program that is working towards environmental awareness and responsibility on school campuses across the nation.

I was so disappointed a few weeks back when a student tossed their recyclable empty water bottle in the trash bin when just less than five feet away was the big blue recycling bin.

Haven’t students noticed how green City College has been the past few semesters? Recycling bins have been placed almost next to every trash bin on campus. It’s easy to take that extra step in recycling your empty water bottles or soda cans. Toss in your unwanted paper materials in any of the blue bins too, and that right there is taking an extra step in being environmentally aware and responsible.

Look at City College’s Urban Farm. Students and volunteers have gotten together and created an amazing piece of growing agriculture right here on campus.

Not only that, but the goods grown in the garden are being sold on campus. A farmers market right here on campus where, not only are you buying fresh greens but, you can actually take part in growing those greens yourself.

The truth is, we can all do a little more in taking that step for environmental awareness. Going green isn’t that hard.

Walk when you can: you’d be surprised how different things look when you’re on foot than when you’re in your car, not to mention the health benefits you get from taking a stroll.

Recycle at home: I have a box at home where I toss in all paper materials such as junk mail and irrelevant or out dated pieces of mail. A counter in my kitchen is used specifically to hold on to cans, bottles and glass to recycle later.

Sure, it may look a little cluttered, but its a little cash in your pocket in the end and considering our economy right now, a little extra cash is always a good thing.

Visit to find recycling centers near you, but also to learn more information about recyclable materials.

Sure, St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday where drinking is usually involved, but hey, once the celebrations are over, what to do with all the empty cans and bottles? How about gathering them up and recycling them.

Remember, don’t just wear green on St. Patrick’s Day, be environmentally conscious, do your part to help out the environment and go green while wearing green. Cheers!

(Luis Bahena is a City Times columnist)

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