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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Students spread knowledge, encouragement this Earth Day

Photo by Abbey Santoro

Earth Day will be held on Thursday, April 22 and students are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to learn more about the environment through a number of experiences in College Station. 

This past year has challenged students’ relationships with nature due to COVID-19, but in light of Earth Day on April 22, some Aggies are reflecting on their goals to protect the environment.
While the annual Brazos Valley Earth Day celebration remains on hold this year, will be live streaming events throughout the day with a number of educational topics. Regardless of location, there are sources available for those looking to learn more about the environment this Earth Day, and some are right here in Aggieland.
As most Texas A&M classes transitioned online last spring due to COVID-19, environmental studies senior Colton Matthews said this past year he has put more effort into being outside.
“I put a lot of emphasis on getting outside [because] I take almost all of my classes online. I just spend a whole lot more time in my backyard and the parks of College Station,” Matthews said. “In the last year I’ve begun to recognize the beauty of the environment and not looking at College Station as just College Station, but also there are little places to get away and enjoy nature.”
Environmental studies senior Benjamin Hoffman said this Earth Day is more important than past years for him since he plans to enter the workforce soon and has narrowed his focus.
“This Earth Day … is the same time I’m graduating, pretty much, and [I’m looking toward] getting into careers on how I can positively benefit the earth as a whole,” Hoffman said. “This past year some stuff that came to light was renewable energy storage.”
Like Hoffman, Matthews is also preparing for a future in preserving the earth. Matthews said despite the setbacks introduced by COVID-19, he found motivation in his field.
“I’m pursuing a future in climate politics, so I’m a big advocate for trying to preserve what we have here for the coming generations,” Matthews said. “Through COVID[-19] it’s only strengthened my interest in doing that because I’ve recognized how much the environment means for recreation.”
Biomedical engineering junior Haley Clark said the goal for this next year should be to keep heading in the same direction in terms of decreasing air pollution.
“Quarantine has positively impacted the environment, which was especially seen early on with the decrease in carbon dioxide emissions as less people drove,” Clark said. “The real challenge now will be to continue down this path toward bettering the environment and not assuming that since we already made a difference we are okay to go back to where we were before.”
Clark said she has always been an advocate for the environment and thinks in order to protect the earth, discussions need to happen more often.
“I think my biggest difference has been to talk about the environment in situations where it matters and to educate my friends and their family beyond political views because information on the environment shouldn’t be an opinion,” Clark said.
While becoming educated at home is a viable way to spend this Earth Day, Hoffman said he will be spending the day talking about the environment with his friends as well as on the podcast he is a part of, Our Earth Rising.
“”We cover pretty much all the different ecospheres of the planet, and we talk to different A&M professors and affiliates,” Hoffman said. “[Personally, I will also] be doing some extra advocacy just trying to spread the knowledge and educate people.”
Hoffman said his goal is to have more people understand the issues surrounding the environment and the importance of being educated in this realm.
“Just acknowledge that we get everything from the earth and it’s where we come from,” Hoffman said. “I personally have a love for kind of everything because it’s what allows us to survive, so try to be hyper-aware of how much you’re using, how much you’re wasting and the resources you’re taking up.”

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