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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Oswego chapter.

Going from culture to culture you come across many social, cultural, and environmental issues, some we even see at home, but at times tend to overlook. There were times throughout my study abroad journey I found myself overwhelmed and frustrated seeing the realities of people’s homes. 

My biggest realization from my five months away would be the concept that one person out of eight billion people, can in fact be a part of the change they wish to see. A lot of times in the past I found myself always making excuses on how I choose to show up in society. For example, climate change has been an ongoing issue that I’ve been hearing about my entire life. For most of my life, up until very recently, I always felt like my go-green contributions to our environment had little to no impact on our Earth so I always chose to take the easy way out and just not do it. Then my trip to Cyprus came around and that’s when it hit me.. we have to wake up every day and make that choice to live a lifestyle that can help us win the fight against climate change. 

During the 3 days I was exploring Cyprus, I learned a lot about permaculture and the importance of it to our environment. But let me tell you, before this day I hadn’t even known this was a way of living. According to Bill Mollison, co-founder of the movement, “Permaculture is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems which have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems.” We spent our day on a farm creating  compost. To do this you need four objects that represent carbon, nitrogen, water & air during the composting process. Seeing how intentional the locals were with how they live and what they do in order to create a more sustainable way of living inspired me. It was a reminder that the small ways you show up do matter. It takes tough conversations amongst peers, educating one another, calling each other out, in order to gain newer perspectives. Considering the direction we hope to go in as a global community, each person realizing that their small contribution can in fact make a difference will move us in the right direction. After the conversations I had in Cyprus with my peers, I now hold myself more accountable for how sustainable I am living. I’ll make sure to repurpose or donate any old clothing items, recycle, not let the water run if I’m not using it, or be more mindful of food waste. These are all things I used to overlook, but I am now aware of its impact on our environment.

Here are some examples of ways you can be more sustainable! 

  1. Recycle properly
  2. Ditch plastic water bottles and invest in reusable bottles 
  3. Minimize single-use plastic in your life altogether 
  4. Reduce your water usage 
  5. Avoid food waste
  6. Sign eco-friendly petitions 
  7. Shop local and organic food
  8. Get a metal straw
  9. Invest in shampoo and conditioner bars 
  10. Compost old food
Hi everyone! I'm Kiara Montero, a second semester junior, double majoring in Broadcasting and Mass Communication and Human Development with a minor in Sports Studies. I'm hoping to excel in my writing while also making connections with those in my campus community.