Small Ways to Become More Eco-Friendly

Climate change tends to be a major topic of discussion nowadays - we see stories about it in the news, posts on social media, protests in major cities and much more.  All these efforts are trying to get our attention and raise awareness to the fact that our climate is seriously suffering.The effects of climate change include wildfires, droughts, and increase of temperatures. The increase of temperatures then causes the loss of sea ice, increases sea levels and much more, which not only affects us but animals and their habitats as well. We’re all being affected by climate change whether we realize it or not, which is why it is important we all get involved in any way we can! These are only a few of many different ways you can get involved - so you have the power to take the suggestions you like and leave what you don’t.

1. Be Conscious of Turning Off Lights 

I think this tip is hands down the easiest and most implementable for all of us - if/when you’re the last to leave a room, make sure to turn off the lights. Better yet, if you’re in a room with lots of natural light, try turning off your lights all together! This is a small but effective way to cut back on excessive energy usage

2. Reusable Water Bottle/Cups

Using a reusable water bottle instead of buying plastic ones will save our planet from tons of unneccesary landfill. Another awesome idea is to bring a reusable cup next time you go to a coffee store to prevent using (then ultimately throwing out) a plastic cup. I know coffee stores on campus like Starbucks sell different kinds of hot/cold coffee cups, so definitely check that out! Not only does it help save the environment, but these reusable cups are more likely to keep your drink colder/hotter for longer- a true win-win!

 

3. Walk, Bike or Take Public Transportation

Given that we’re on a college campus, many students probably already use these methods as their main transportation. However, if you do have a car on campus, it’s important to keep in mind that more vehicles on the road leads to more gas emissions, which leads to more air pollution. So next time you think about driving somewhere, consider walking (a great way to get in more movement!) Not only will you be saving gas money, but you will also be saving the planet too! If you’re in a time crunch and need to get somewhere ASAP, try using public transportation like the bus to cut back on gas emissions.

4. Cut Back on Meat Consumption

By now I’m sure we have all heard of people participating in “meatless Monday” or just cutting back on their meat consumption. You may be wondering, how does eating less/ cutting out meat help the environment? Well, it’s important to be aware of the fact that the agricultural industry has been found to have some of the highest greenhouse gas emissions (more than cars, trains and planes combined)! The meat industry is also associated with deforestation to create more farms for animals. These effects of the meat industry are extremely influential and detrimental to our environment, so cutting out or cutting back on meat consumption really does make all the difference.

5. Rent/Use Online Versions of Your Textbooks

Those massive, heavy textbooks we students are all too familiar with use up so much paper per book. Therefore, to prevent the need to print more textbooks, which then wastes more paper and energy, try finding a gently used version; it’s also important to remember to sell your textbooks back to the book store at the end of the semester so this cycle of reusing books can continue. Not only will you save paper in the long run, but you’ll also get cash back! Another option is to use an online textbook - I find these to be much more convenient aside from also being eco-friendly.

ProTip: check out other credible sources to learn further about climate change, its impacts, and what else you can do to get involved!

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