Some Simple Ways to Help Save the Planet
Students are constantly learning how they can make a difference in the world. There are classes and clubs focused on various social issues, and these places teach students how they can change these issues. One popular cause that has been popular in recent years is the helping the environment and preserving our resources. There are several ways that you – yes, YOU- can help protect the environment.
1. Stay Informed
One of the best things you can do is to keep yourself informed – the more you know the better. It leaves you better equipped to have those conversations with your friends and family and the people you want to influence. Get yourself clued up on the facts, stay up to date with recent news on the state of our natural world and work out what you can do.
We have the world at our fingertips, so learn from influential people, keep up with the news and research organizations that are working to make our planet a better place.
2. Travel Responsibly
One of the most efficient ways of lowering your environmental impact is by travelling responsibly. This means, whenever you can, choosing a more sustainable way to get from A to B – walk or cycle when you can.
Transport is one of the most polluting sectors. But holidaying closer to home can make a big impact on your carbon footprint. One short haul return flight can account for 10% of your yearly carbon emissions, and long-haul flights can completely determine your carbon impact.
If you do choose to go abroad and are looking to see the local wildlife, keep in mind how to go about it ethically. Attractions that involve you being able to pet, hold or feed animals for money are generally a no-go. Be wary of attractions involving any unnatural interactions with animals. As a rule: observe animals from afar in their natural habitat and look to support local conservation projects.
3. Reduce your Waste
We need to make wasting our resources unacceptable in all aspects of our life. Every product we buy has an environmental footprint and could end up in landfill. The impact of plastic pollution on our oceans is becoming increasingly clear, having drastic impacts on marine life.
It’s not just the products we buy. It’s estimated that a third of all food produced in the world is lost or wasted. Do your bit by eating up leftovers and use any ingredients you have spare to make interesting meals. Try to waste as little food as possible, and compost the organic waste you can’t eat.
4. Print as Little as Necessary
We have all had that teacher that wanted us to have a copy of every single reading when we come to class, or that professor who wanted a hard copy of the ten-page paper that is due next week. These are fine but it seems as if they do not understand that using so much paper is detrimental to the environment.
What can you do? Ask your teacher if you can bring a laptop or an e-reader to class so that you can download the reading onto that and read it from there. If not, print on both sides of the page to reduce the amount of paper used.
If you need to turn in a long paper, ask the professor if it is okay to print on both sides of the page and explain why you’re asking. Most teachers care about the environment as well and would be willing to allow you to do so.
5. Use a Reusable Beverages Container
Instead of buying individually-packaged drinks, consider buying a bulk container of the beverage you want and buying a reusable water bottle. Not only will this help the environment, but it will also help you save money since you are buying a bulk container.
Many campuses offer water fountains designed for drinking as well as for refilling reusable water bottles. Make use of these fountains throughout the day when you finish off the initial beverage.
Along these lines, many restaurants offer reusable containers for drinks. If you go to a certain place a lot, consider buying one of these containers to help minimize waste.
A lot of coffee shops even offer a discount to customers who use a reusable container for their drinks. Starbucks, as an example, offers a small discount for customers who do this. Saving the environment and money? Win-win.
5. Of course, Recycle!
Recycling is such a simple thing to do, but so many people don’t do it. Many garbage disposal companies offer recycling services, so check with the company you use to see if they can help you get started! It is as simple as getting a bin and putting it out with your trash cans for free!
Also, check with your RA to see if recycling options are offered in your dorm.
Another way to recycle is to look for recycling cans near trashcans. Instead of throwing recyclables in the trash with your non-recyclables, make a point to take an extra step to locate recycling cans around your campus.
Written by Elisa – 08/10/19