April 22, 2015, marks the 45th anniversary of Earth Day. What began in 1970 (the same year Walden University was founded) as a demonstration to garner support for the burgeoning environmental movement is now observed by more than 1 billion people around the globe—making Earth Day the largest civic observance in the world. This year's theme, "It's Our Turn to Lead," reflects the individual power we all have to protect our environment.
Spotlight on Walden asked students to list their personal conservation habits. From low-cost, low-effort energy-saving solutions to supporting community conservation efforts and organizations, the Walden community is enthusiastic about making a difference. Read how our students are working to reduce their impact on the environment every day.
"I recently installed a water filter system in my home, which will allow my family to drink water from the faucet." — Edith Lamia, BS in Public Health Student
"I have been actively recycling for more than 20 years. In addition, I make sure to dispose of electronic waste properly by using designated areas for their disposal." — Andrea Harney, BS in Psychology Student
"I work as a behavioral counselor at a middle school, and most of my school days consist of working with lots and lots of paper. To conserve, I make sure that my students are using either recycled or old scraps of paper during our group sessions." — Keonna D. Palmer, MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Student
"I donate anything I know someone else could use to Goodwill. Clothes, shoes, toys, monitors, TVs, purses, and decorative items I do not want anymore." — Cinthia Figueroa, Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) Student
"I ride a bicycle to shop and get around. I am very aware of my carbon footprint." — Richard S. Hickman, MS in Psychology Student
"Instead of driving the car a few blocks to pick up our children from school, we enjoy a pleasant walk."
— Billie Jean Stearns, BS in Business Administration Student
"For 2 years, we walked everywhere. We bought one car recently and share it between my husband and myself." — Carla Caraway, MS in Psychology Student
Conserving Natural Resources
"I installed a solar water heater, which cut our power usage by 30%; changed to compact florescent bulbs, which cut our power by 10%; installed a surge protector, which cut our power by 10%; and we are installing a solar power system, which will save the remaining 50% of the home's power usage." — Mike Maio, PhD in Management Student
"I am reducing my impact on the environment by taking the water from my dog bowls and watering my indoor plants with it instead of dumping it down the sink. This prevents wasting water unnecessarily and provides nutrients to my plants." — Kari Wahl, Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Student
"Living in Tucson, Arizona, we deal with very hot and dry days. I installed new toilets, which reduces one flush from 8 to 1.6 gallons, and a new tankless water heater to eliminate the collection of water. It also uses less energy to heat up the water." — Christine Ayers, MS in Forensic Psychology Student
"I live in Northern California, and we are in the midst of a severe drought. I have just completed an irrigation upgrade, whereby I replaced the builder-provided sprinkler sprayer heads with low-flow drip systems. I have also eliminated approximately 15% of my lawn and three sprinkler heads by installing planting beds with drips, where we have begun to grow our own organic produce." — Pete von Bleichert, PhD in Public Policy and Administration Student
Community Efforts to Conserve
"In Kenya, I have formed a community-based organization that has launched a serious campaign against charcoal burning, which is a major cause of deforestation. By reducing our impact to the environment, we are increasing our impacts for better livelihoods and resilience to climate change." — Abednego Mavuthu, PhD in Public Policy and Administration Student
"As the director of Carbon Exchange Trade, a voluntary carbon-emission pricing and exchange platform in Nigeria, I am spearheading awareness among businesses on the need for renewable technology mainstreaming in their business processes." — Innocent Azih, PhD in Public Policy and Administration Student