4 Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint as a Student

 

 

With climate change becoming a bigger and more important issue in today’s world, many people are wondering what they can do to help. As a student, here are some affordable ways to help reduce your carbon footprint.

  1. 1. Eat less meat

    It may seem like a small thing, but this is the most efficient way to quickly reduce your carbon footprint. Meat production is one of the most harmful industries for the environment; to produce one pound of beef, it takes over 5,000 gallons of water! You don’t have to cut out meat entirely, but reducing the amount of red meat and poultry products you buy will make a huge impact. Many companies have even released imitation meat products that are entirely plant-based and just as good. 

  2. 2. Drive less, bike more

    As a college student, investing in a bike is not only a great form of exercise, but also is way better for the environment. Cars and other motor vehicles are responsible for approximately one third of air pollution, so swapping out a car for a bike is great for the atmosphere. On top of that, daily exercise helps increase energy levels, helps your mood and reduces your risk of cardiovascular problems later in life. 

  3. 3. Thrift more

    Not everyone is aware of this, but the “fast fashion” industry is a major source of pollution in today’s world. The production of low-quality clothing takes up tons of resources during production and transportation. Plus, the ever-changing trends create a never-ending consumer cycle which causes tons of perfectly good clothing to be thrown out in order to keep up with what’s trendy. This cycle results in over 15 million tons of textile waste per year. So instead of shopping at “fast fashion” stores like H&M, Zara and Forever 21, try going to thrift and consignment stores in your area, or look for brands that are environmentally friendly. Not only will you be reducing your carbon footprint, but you’ll have a unique and original look, much different than the tired-trends of fast fashion.

  4. 4. Recycle everything

    Recycling can be more tedious and time-consuming than just throwing all your waste into one garbage bag, but it has huge benefits for the environment. Recycling all of your waste can help companies avoid over-producing new and unnecessary products. This helps save tons of energy, and helps companies cut down on the mining and extraction of raw materials that are used to make new products, which means less air and water pollution as well. When materials are properly recycled, they can be reused and redistributed, or they can be used to make new products, such as clothing. An example of a great brand is Patagonia; since 1993 they’ve been using recycled plastic bottles to make their clothing. Sorting your recycling may be slightly more time-consuming, but in the long run it’s a great way to help the environment. 

Everyone should take the issue of climate change seriously. By implementing these small changes in your own life, you can lower your individual carbon footprint and make positive change for the environment in the long run!