USF hosted the one and only Dr. Jane Goodall last Tuesday night. Some lucky Bulls were able to attend her lecture at the Sun Dome where they heard her speak about conservation. Only after some amusing stories of her days living in the jungle with wild chimps, of course. But the topic of conservation is important to discuss if we want our planet to flourish now, and in the future. As humans it is our duty to protect, not destroy, the world around us.
USF is headed in the right direction – towards conservation. We were recently ranked #7 in the country for “Cool Schools,” by Sierra Magazine as they evaluated the greenest universities. Princeton Review awarded USF, and only 21 other universities in the nation, to their Green Honor Roll. We should be proud of our school for appropriately using our Green Energy Fee to earn us this ranking. But we also need to stop and contemplate: what does USF do that has earned us #7?
Our Office of Sustainability has been working hard to earn us these rankings. We’ve established an extensive recycling program over the last 24 years that has diverted 48 tons of aluminum and 9,700 tons of paper from local landfills. Other smaller things, like the recycling bins in all the dorms and throughout campus, as well as the water bottle re-filling stations, are small steps that students can take to contribute to the conservation efforts on campus. The university is constantly researching ways to be more “green,” which has led to USF harvesting solar power. Perhaps “green” is just an inherent nature of our green and gold campus, but us Bulls can always step up our game.
As an individual, how can you help with conservation? Deciding to stop buying plastic water bottles, and instead investing in a reusable water bottle and a Brita filter will not only save you money, but tons of plastic in landfills over time. It can be in little choices, like what make-up brands you purchase. Eco friendly make-up is made of natural and organic products, free of any chemicals or toxins. Who wouldn’t want that for their skin?
One of the major ways an individual can make an impact on conservation efforts is to eat less meat. Becoming a vegetarian, or decreasing one’s meat consumption, drastically reduces a person’s carbon footprint. Eating meat contributes to a lot of destruction to the environment because producing meat has a high impact on the land. As humans, we could aid in the conservation process by eating produce directly, instead of growing produce to feed to animals, that are then packaged for our consumption. Try some meatless Mondays, and see how you feel!
Jane Goodall chose the right university to visit to discuss conservation! As a university we’re doing a great job at reducing our impact on the environment as much as we can. Let’s all accept our responsibility in the conservation effort and step up our game.
Together, we will be un-BULL-ievable!