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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 Kent State chapter.

“Sustainability” involves ensuring our own needs are met while preserving the quality of life for future generations. This is a very familiar term and is often pushed in the media. It is no secret that emissions, waste and pollution are expediting climate change. While the root of this problem lies in the practices of large corporations and entities, it is further perpetuated by the carelessness of average people. It is important that we gain consciousness of our decisions, and try whenever possible to live sustainably. As a college student, this lifestyle seems harder to implement. It is through educating ourselves on small steps we can take, that we can work toward making a meaningful difference.

Being in college oftentimes puts us at a disadvantage when it comes to being environmentally conscious. With factors such as incomplete living spaces, fewer resources and less disposable income to make the most environmentally conscious decisions, it can be hard to live eco-friendly. However, when it comes to certain elements, being in college may make it easier to live sustainably. For example, with resources being very accessible on campus, there is less need for driving. Even if a certain point on campus is at a far distance, most colleges make bringing a bike very accessible. In the case of having to leave campus entirely, driving may be necessary, however, I find myself driving significantly less in college. These are all very good and oftentimes unconscious ways we preserve the climate as students.

In terms of further conscious steps we can take, my biggest suggestion is thrifting! Here in Downtown Kent, there is a store called Branded at Kent. They make it their mission to provide vintage clothing and are luckily a walking distance from campus. The act of purchasing gently used clothing keeps these items back in the hands of someone who will use them and out of a landfill. The clothing industry, particularly the “fast fashion” industry accounts for a large amount of waste and pollutants. Gently used items are often higher quality and cheaper. Thrifting is an excellent solution to saving money and practicing sustainability!

Additionally, in order to further execute sustainability, we may be required to change bad habits. For example, college oftentimes requires the usage of technology. However, it is important we remember to unplug our devices once they have charged. Leaving a device plugged in for an extended period amount of time uses an unnecessary amount of energy. Fixes like these are easy, as they do not affect our lives, yet make such a difference toward the planet.

Lastly, it is a good idea to research the specific measures your college takes to achieve sustainability. For Kent State specifically, there is an entire webpage dedicated to environmentally conscious options. Once you educate yourself on your specific options, do the best you can to articulate them. Kent makes use of Grind2Energy anaerobic grinders, which is as simple as dumping leftover food in a tray. This small step works toward creating renewable energy from food waste. It is oftentimes not easy to live completely eco-friendly, however, it is important that we at least try. Small steps like these can make all the difference if everyone becomes more conscious of their decisions and how they impact our planet.

Kalista Cook

Kent State '27

Kalista is a Freshman at Kent State majoring in Political Science. She is currently pre-law, and is passionate about civil rights, equality and environmental advocacy. Kalista is a new member of Her Campus this year, and is apart of the editorial team. In her free time she can be found reading, hanging out with friends, keeping up with social media and pop culture, or working out!