How to Live More Sustainably This Fall Quarter (And Year-Round)

Earlier this month, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published a report stating that we have a mere dozen years to prevent global temperature increases from exceeding 1.5C, after which the risks for extreme drought, floods, and poverty will dramatically worsen. This news is extremely unsettling and suggests that now, more than ever, we should make a greater effort to reduce our individual and collective environmental impact. While you don’t need to go to extreme or costly measures, there are some simple things you can do to live more sustainably and consciously this Fall Quarter (and year-round)!

Take the bus, bike, or walk to campus!

There are plenty of ways to get around Davis and to campus that can help reduce overall fossil fuel consumption and save you money, including taking Unitrans (free for UCD students), biking, or walking. Biking and walking to campus will also help you get some exercise and extra vitamin D from the sun!

Use reusable food containers and water bottles.

Reusable food containers and water bottles are extremely useful in reducing waste and keeping plastic and other trash out of landfill. If you commute to campus and find yourself in need of food, packing your own breakfast or lunch can also help you save money and maybe even eat healthier! Additionally, restaurants or coffee shops sometimes even offer discounts to people who bring in their own take-out and drink containers.

Looking for new clothes? Try a thrift store.

Most of us love buying clothes from Forever 21, but fast fashion (check out The True Cost for more information) has immense costs on the environment and on people who make clothing and textiles. Consider going thrifting instead to find good deals on used, good quality clothing. We even have a student-run, on-campus thrift store located right next to the Silo: The Aggie Reuse Store!

Buy food locally (Davis Farmer’s Market or Davis Co-Op)

Shopping for food locally at the Davis Farmer’s Market and the Davis Co-op are easy ways to reduce emissions from the processing, packaging, and shipping of food from long distances and support local farmers! Plus, the Farmer’s Market is even on campus on Wednesdays from 11:30am to 1:00pm, or stop by at its regular spot on 3rd & C St every Saturday morning. Pick up anything from fresh fruits and veggies to cheese to pasta to tasty baked goods!

Recycling! Composting! Repurposing!

Doing your best to keep waste out of landfills has a major impact and both UC Davis and the city itself make it really easy to recycle, compost food waste, or donate unwanted items. If you’re unsure if you can recycle or compost something, do a quick search online or look out for informational signs. Another easy way to reduce your waste is to repurpose things like jars or old t-shirts — if you need some ideas on how to do this, check out Pinterest! Or if you have any unwanted clothes, decor, or other goods, donate them to the Aggie Reuse Store or other second-hand stores in Davis.

Educate yourself on environmental issues.

There are an unimaginable number of educational resources available either online or on campus that cover various environmental issues. Check out Netflix for some documentaries on minimalism, food choices, and the effects of rising temperature. Research the propositions and policies upcoming on the ballot or look into some organizations on campus that focus on environmentalism and sustainability. Finally, follow the news to see how environmental issues are changing or how people all over the world are taking steps to make a difference.

Vote! Local, state, and national elections!

Elections at the local, state, and national levels all feature candidates, propositions, and various policies which have a substantial impact on the way environmental issues and energy are addressed. Voting is essential to create the change you want to see in your community! Remember, the deadline to register to vote in CA is October 22nd and Election Day is November 6th!