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How can you be Sustainable during the Pandemic?



I can still remember early March of 2020, the GRIND  had just brought back my favorite drink; Iced Chai Lattes, and I would get them after class in my reusable mug and consider my day ending well since I used a reusable mug, and that’s one less plastic cup in the trash! Ever since I got to college last fall, Wells and its students had shown me how to be way more eco-friendly and how to look out for the planet the best way I could, by being sustainable. 


Obviously now, in early September of 2020, a lot has changed since the days in March where I could just walk into a coffee shop with a reusable mug and get a drink, and unfortunately, many of the changes the COVID-19 pandemic brought on caused sustainability to take a back-seat to safety when it came to everyday life. However, today I am here to spread the word about some ways I found to be suitable AND safe during a global health crisis! 


  1. Encouraging Folks to Recycle!

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Since Corona Virus is causing a lot more people to stay inside and not visit outside food vendors even when they are on campus here at Wells, the kitchens in our dorms have been busy being used to avoid eating at the dining hall for every meal. Here at Wells, every kitchen on campus has two bins for garbage, a black or grey bin for trash, and a blue bin for recyclable materials! While you cook your meal, you often use cardboard boxes or tin/aluminum cans; even paper needs to be used- all of those items you may just throw away in the black/grey bins when in fact, those containers are recyclable! Many objects and materials you use to cook are either recyclable or could be used as compost for plants and flowers around campus, so if you don't know for sure that what you are using is recyclable, it always helps to do a quick google search.


  1. Do some eco-friendly activities!

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I know, I know, Wells is in the middle of nowhere and even I, someone who loves our campus more than life, gets bored of it every so often. If we want to get off campus, however, that is a lot of gas and pollution being brought into this world- and as I said, I understand, you can only get to civilization via car around here, but that doesn't go to say there aren't fun and sustainable things you can do on campus! Did you know that there is a waterfall on campus? And that there are two different ways you could hike to it! The golf course isn't getting much activity this year, and it is a beautiful space to walk through!  Have you taken an hour or two to walk into the town of Aurora and see the little park or library? How about spending a day with friends having a picnic at the boathouse or by the Sycamore!


  1. Use Eco-To-Go Containers!

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Now, I know how interesting the food in the dining hall is, but something the dining hall is doing this semester is actually promoting sustainability one green take out container at a time. Every student enrolled in Wells college and who pays room and board to live on campus. This semester received a free eco-to-go clip to exchange for an eco-to-go container when they enter the dining hall for a meal! The thing is, once you take your container out of the dining hall, it is yours to keep until you return to the dining hall, so you can put whatever you’d like into it. For example, you could use it to put other food into or to carry painted rocks, even as a doorstop. Basically, all I’m saying is that Eco-To-Go containers are the way to go if you want to be more sustainable. 


  1. Use the online Hold system for textbooks/read hand-outs online.

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Not only is this one a little bit more cost-effective since you don’t have to buy your own textbooks to hold physically, but it also saves tons of paper and ink when you could just read the things you need for class online- like on Moodle or the Long Library's online Hold system! I used the online hold system for my Anthropology textbooks this weekend, and the system is fairly simple to use. And since Moodle updated, it has been much easier to navigate and has left me logged on a little longer than its previous model. By not printing out the syllabus to your class, or the papers the professor provided online, we are retracting our carbon footprint a little bit at a time. 


  1. Use personal Water Bottles!

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Now this one you do have to be a lot more careful about is that the global health crisis is still a major concern for public health, but it is still seen as perfectly fine and dandy to carry personal water bottles around and refill them at the water refill stations on campus. By not purchasing plastic water bottles in bulk, the demand and production of them will go down, and the pollution that the factories produce will also decrease. There are water refill stations in every academic building on campus, and the water is clean and filtered and often tastes better than any water you could get out of a water bottle produced in New York state. 


No matter what happens when it comes to your personal exploration with sustainability this semester, because of COVID-19, it is harder than ever to be sustainable, and anything and everything you’re doing to combat that helps so much in the long run! 

Hey it's Nash! ╭☞( ͡ ͡° ͜ ʖ ͡ ͡°)╭☞
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