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Incorporating Sustainability: A Guide to a Greener College Life

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Delhi North East chapter.

In a world where the consequences of climate change are becoming increasingly evident, the call for sustainability and eco-friendly practices is more urgent than ever. As college students, we hold the power to drive significant change in the quest for a greener future. This article explores the importance of sustainability, climate change mitigation, and eco-friendly practices while offering practical tips on how college students can contribute to a more sustainable and environmentally conscious world.

Climate change poses a significant threat to our planet’s ecosystems, biodiversity, and even human civilization. Rising temperatures, extreme weather events, and the depletion of natural resources are just a few of the consequences. Embracing sustainability is not just a choice; it’s a necessity. It’s about minimizing our environmental footprint to preserve our planet for future generations.

The College Connection

Colleges and universities are hotbeds of innovation and influence. They are places where young minds converge, exchange ideas, and embark on journeys of personal and academic growth. By fostering sustainability on campuses, we can create a ripple effect that extends far beyond graduation.

Tips for College Students:

1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Start with the basics. Reduce waste by using reusable water bottles, coffee cups, and shopping bags. Get involved in recycling programs on campus to ensure materials are properly disposed of and reused.

2. Campus Chapters or Clubs

Start or join a chapter of an organization or an environmental club to make your campus a sustainable hub.

3. Transportation Choices

Opt for eco-friendly transportation options such as biking, walking, or carpooling whenever possible. If your college offers public transportation passes, use them to reduce emissions from personal vehicles.

4. Sustainable Diet

Choose locally sourced and organic foods when dining on campus. Cutting down on meat consumption and embracing plant-based options can significantly reduce your carbon footprint.

5. Join Campus Sustainability Initiatives

Most colleges have sustainability clubs or initiatives. Join these groups to participate in projects like tree planting, waste reduction campaigns, and renewable energy advocacy.

6. Academic Engagement

Pursue sustainability-related courses and research opportunities. Advocate for the inclusion of sustainability topics in your curriculum to create a more environmentally conscious campus culture.

7. Mindful Consumption

Before making a purchase, consider its environmental impact. Support brands and products that prioritize sustainability and ethical practices.

8. Reduce Water Consumption

Be mindful of water use in daily activities such as showering and laundry. Encourage the installation of water-saving fixtures in dorms and communal spaces.

The fight against climate change is a collective effort, and college students play a pivotal role in shaping a greener future. Sustainability isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a lifestyle and a responsibility. Through the enthusiastic adoption of eco-friendly practices and our active promotion of sustainability on campus, we can set a shining example for the world. In doing so, we play our part in protecting the planet for the generations yet to come. Collectively, we possess the ability to reframe our college environments as centers of sustainability and innovation, nurturing a future that is not only more environmentally conscious but also filled with promise.

Leena Joshi

Delhi North East '24

Leena Joshi is a social entrepreneur, climate advocate and author. She is the founder and executive director of Ethereal, a youth-led climate nonprofit, with 9000 volunteers in 60+ countries. She has sat on boards and advisory councils for various organizations. She has been a member at Harvard Business Review Ascend Select and has provided insights to editorial, marketing and product teams of HBR and has contributed to research projects by HBR. Leena's work has been featured by World Bank Group, United Nations Climate Change, United Nations Foundation, Climate Reality Project, Her Campus Media, Feminist and Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation. She was previously a Member at Global Leadership Challenge at Oxford University. She has been an Ambassador for organizations including World Bank Group, Greenpeace USA, 4ocean and Plastic Pollution Coalition. Leena is a prolific public speaker who has spoken at universities across the world including Harvard, Oxford and Cambridge. She has authored books including 'The Climate Awakening' and 'Ethereal' and writes poetry about social impact.