Over the past few years, as temperatures rise, landfills overflow and greenhouse gas emissions sky rocket to an all time high, it has become apparent that human activity is driving climate change, and our planet needs us.
It often seems that the issue of climate change is a problem much larger than ourselves, and though there needs to be serious nationwide efforts and structures put in place to save our planet, we as individuals must take action in our own lives and do our part.
As college students, it can often seem daunting to make a drastic change in our already busy lives, but there are many easy steps that can be taken to make a huge impact on the environment. About 60 percent of plastic ends up in a landfill or in the natural environment.
A great way to cut down on single use plastics is to always make sure to have reusable shopping bags with you when going to the store, carry around a reusable water bottle and coffee mug for refills, and carry around a set of cutlery to limit single use plastic forks and knives. Plastic straws are another detrimental factor in why our planet is being polluted, and end up in our oceans, ultimately killing marine wildlife. Invest in reusable glass or metal straws and make sure to put one in your bag or backpack!
Reusable food storage bags such as “Stashers” are an incredible alternative to plastic ziplock bags for storing food and leftovers, and “Bee’s Wrap” is an amazing replacement for wasteful plastic wrap.
Other simple yet effective steps are making sure to turn off all lights when not being used and to always purchase energy efficient light bulbs such as LED lights, which can outlast regular fluorescent bulbs and use less energy.
An obvious, yet often overlooked way to reduce carbon footprint is to walk, bike or use public transportation rather than driving.
Next time you’re too cold to walk across campus or to the grocery store look at the bus schedule and help cut back on your carbon footprint! Watching the amount that you buy, whether it be clothes, school supplies or even food, using your purchasing power towards eco friendly products can go a long way.
Try your best to only buy what you need rather than buying excess items of what you may already have, and implement living a less consumerist lifestyle in order to drastically reduce your environmental footprint.
Though it seems like we are a long way from a clean environment, it starts with you to create a change in your own life and impact on our planet’s future.