6 Easy Ways To Reduce Your Environmental Impact

6 Easy Ways To Reduce Your Environmental Impact

No, you won't have to spend half your fortune or quit your current lifestyle.
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Climate change is real.

Humans are harming the environment and that’s not an opinion, it’s a fact. We dump chemicals into the ocean and harm other animals on this Earth. We pollute our atmosphere with overwhelming amounts of carbon dioxide.

As college students, it’s easy to feel helpless and think that this problem is beyond our ability to solve. However, everyone and anyone can do their part to make sure we reduce our own carbon footprint to alleviate this problem. Here are 7 easy ways you can become more environmentally friendly without deviating much from your usual lifestyle.

1. Bike/Take public transportation instead of taking Uber.

Cars release tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every day and are one of the biggest problems contributing to climate change produced by humans. By taking public transportation like the metro, bus, or investing in a bike, we can reduce our carbon dioxide impact on the environment.

One less Uber ride may not seem much, but in the long run, that impact adds up quickly. By taking alternatives to a regular car to travel around, not only can you reduce your carbon footprint, you’ll also be saving a ton of money. Save that $25 Uber cost to Santa Monica and spend it on textbooks or food instead!

2. Stop using straws and plastic stirring sticks.

We’re all capable adults who don’t need straws to be able to drink out of a cup. Sure, straws are convenient, but they also create large amounts of plastic waste that is extremely hard to dispose of. Instead, drink out of your own reusable water bottle to reduce plastic waste.

For Starbucks addicts, avoid using the green plastic "splash sticks" to mix your drink. Instead, use the wooden stirring sticks, which are easier to take care of as waste than plastic sticks are.

3. Bring your own bags to grocery stores.

Grocery stores all over the US have started to incentivize people to bring their own bags, including charging extra for bags as well as banning plastic bags altogether. Most stores charge 5 to 10 cents per bag, and most of the time consumers disregard that amount as insignificant.

However, Spending 10 cents every time you grocery shop, assuming you shop once a week, adds up to almost $5 per year. Combined with other types of stores that also charge extra for bags, that amount can double or even triple. Instead of spending money on bags that will harm the environment, spend it on slightly pricier organic foods or a few cups of coffee.

4. Buy from eco-friendly brands and packaging.

This option may be more challenging, as more environmentally friendly products tend to be pricier. However, using the money saved up from bringing reusable bags to grocery stores, students can choose alternatives to big name brands that may be less harmful to the environment.

For example, there are many alternatives to laundry detergents that are not only eco-friendly but affordable as well. When buying milk or eggs, choose the products packaged using cardboard instead of plastic. Although a lot of the plastic packaging claim to be recyclable, not all of them can be recycled to the same level as paper-based packaging.

5. Give feedback to your school’s student government and demand more eco-friendly measures.

Many colleges have already started initiatives to transform their campuses into an environmentally friendly university, but a lot of colleges have not. The University of California school system has pushed for Zero Waste 2020, and has already diverted 69% of their trash from landfills.

However, other schools like my own college, USC, don’t even have recycling bins around campus. Make sure to reach out to your own campus about waste reduction as well as proper recycling practices. If a whole body of students demands more eco-friendly measures, universities are more likely to put those initiatives in place.

6. Avoid food products that use palm oil.

Palm oil has been linked to rainforest deforestation, which is extremely detrimental to our environment. Yet, many common food and home products still use palm oil knowing its effects. Popular food products such as Oreos and Pepperidge Farm cookies contain palm oil, while beauty brands such as Lancome and Neutrogena also use palm oil in their products.

When buying food and beauty products, check the ingredients of the good to see if they contain palm oil, and avoid buying products that do. Instead of Oreos, there are many alternative cookies that taste just as good without using palm oil. For beauty, there are even more brands to choose from.

7. Be mindful of your environmental impact.

It’s hard to constantly keep track of every single action that could harm the environment, and there’s no need to do that.

If every person is aware of the impact they’re leaving behind on the environment, as a whole society, we can greatly reduce our harmful environmental impacts.

Doing simple things like taking the metro instead of Ubering, throwing something recyclable into an actual recycle bin, and buying products that don’t contain palm oil are easy steps everyone can take without drastically altering their normal habits and patterns.

Since these methods don’t take much effort, “it takes too much time” or “I don’t have the power to help” are not excuses. Humans have exploited the environment too much already, so it is not a debate of whether we should or shouldn’t do something.

We have an obligation to limit the harm we inflict on our planet after everything we have already done.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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30 Bee Puns To Get You Through The Day

These puns are as sweet as honey.
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There are few things in life that make me happier (and/or make me want to bury my face in my hands and groan loudly) than a well timed pun. This goes double if the pun involves some my favorite insects — bees. There's nothing quite as satisfying as uttering a bee pun when no one expects it, so here is a list of the top 30 bee puns around!

Use these puns to make your grandparents laugh, impress your date, spice up your Tinder profile, make friends with a beekeeper, break the ice at your new job or make everyone in the general vicinity wish they hadn't invited you to come hang out with them. You won't bee-lieve how many of these puns you'll be pollen for! You'll bee-come an instant hit at parties! You'll bee sure to thank me later.

1. "When a bee is in your hand, what's in your eye? Beauty. Because beauty is in the eye of the bee-holder."

2. "Bee puns really sting.

3. "Who's a bee's favorite singer? Bee-yoncé."

4. "What's a happy bumblebee's blood type? Bee positive!"


5. "Bee puns aren't that great. I don't get what all the buzz is about."

6. "Wasp are you talking about?"


7. "Naughty bee children really need to beehive."

8. "What kind of bees drop things? Fumble bees!"

9. "A bee's favorite haircut is a buzz cut!"

10. "What do you call a bee that's a sore loser? A cry bay-bee!"


11. "What's a bee's favorite flower? Bee-gonias!"

12. "Why do bees get married? Because they found their honey!"


13. "That bee is talking too quietly, it must be a mumble-bee!"

14. "Bee children take the school buzz to get to school."

15. "A bee's favorite sport is rug-bee."

16. "The bees went on strike because they wanted more honey and less working flowers."


17. "On the first day of class, bee students are given a sylla-buzz."

18. "What did one bee say to the other when they landed on the same flower? Buzz off."

19. "Who's a bee's favorite painter? Pablo Bee-casso!"

20. "A bee styles their hair with a honeycomb."

21. "When a bee writes a sonnet, they're waxing poetic."

22. "The worker bee decided to take a vacation to Stingapore last year."

23. "A bee that's been put under a spell has been bee-witched!"

24. "Say, these bee puns aren't too shab-bee."

25. "That pretentious wasp is just plain snob-bee!"

26. "Why did the bee want to use the phone? To say hi to their honey."

27. "A bee's favorite novel is the Great Gats-bee."


28. "What's a bee's favorite Spice Girls song? Wanna-bee!"

29. "What do bees like with their sushi? Wasa-bee!"

30. "Remember, bee puns are good for your health, they give you a dose of Vitamin Bee!"

Cover Image Credit: Fanaru

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The 10 Best Low-Maintenance Dog Breeds For College Kids

For if you just aren't a cat person but still want a low-maintenance pet.

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Every pet requires care and attention, especially when it comes to dogs. As a college student, you may live in an apartment with minimal space for a dog to run around, and you may not be able to dedicate most of your time to a dog. While you shouldn't own a dog whatsoever if you're not able to take them for a walk at least twice a day, some dogs have a lot less energy than others and don't require as much attention and grooming. You may opt for a small dog breed thinking they're better with smaller spaces, but often certain small breeds need even more exercise and space than big dogs. A general guideline is to find a mature, low-exercise dog with a low-maintenance coat.

1. Basset Hounds.

Maximiliano Ignacio Pinilla Alvarado

Basset Hounds are the best pets for college students because instead of being anxious while you're at school or work, they just do nothing but eat and sleep. They're the perfect couch potato dogs and need minimal exercise, unlike the rest of the breeds in the hound group. On top of that, they're extremely loving and obedient!

2. Bulldogs.


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American, French, and English bulldogs are all great low-maintenance pets. They have all the personality in the world, but they don't require extensive exercise and don't need to be brushed. As long as they're played with at least once a day, they're happy puppers. They're also the perfect size for apartment living. Bulldogs do experience health problems more than the average breed, so be sure to have money set aside for the vet.

3. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

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While the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel does require grooming, since they're so small and easy to groom, it won't cost you more than 5 minutes out of your day to do a thorough brushing. They're mellow yet playful people-loving dogs and are perfect for beginners. Get ready to give and receive affection, because these lap dogs love to cuddle.

4. Greyhounds.


Juan Gomez

Most low-energy people avoid Greyhounds, thinking they require a lot of exercise. While they do require daily exercise, it doesn't take a lot to satiate them. As racing dogs, they love to run, so taking them to a field and allowing them to run for 10 minutes during your daily walk will help them get rid of any excess energy. In the house, they're very mellow dogs that like to lay around a lot and they don't bark very often. They also have short hair, so they don't require brushing.

5. Boston Terriers.


freestocks.org

Boston Terriers are very adaptable to apartment living. Playful yet mellow, this non-sporting breed only requires a moderate amount of exercise. You might even find that they start panting up a storm during walks before you start to break a sweat. They also don't require any brushing and are very easy to train. Plus, who doesn't want a dog that's constantly wearing a tuxedo?

6. Shiba Inus.


Christal Yeun

The Shiba Inu has become a very sought-after breed, and with good reason. They're basically cats in a dog's body. Finicky, independent, and mellow; the Shiba Inu is the perfect dog for an owner who doesn't have a lot of time and attention to devote as long as they're properly trained. The Sheeb can be unfriendly around other dogs and new people, but they're extremely loyal to their family. Although they're great for college living, they may not be the ideal breed for someone who has never owned a dog due to their stubborn nature.

7. Havanese dogs.


buchsammy

Don't let the long hair of this pooch intimidate you, their coats are easily maintained with a daily 10-minute brushing and an occasional trim at the groomer's. Unlike most toy breeds, havanese dogs are generally mellow and not very yappy, so they won't annoy the neighbors like a chihuahua or pomeranian. They're also generally very friendly to strangers and other animals.

8. Pugs.

Mink Mingle

Pugs are a great breed for everyone, but especially people who don't have much time to devote to grooming and training. They have a medium energy level which can be satisfied by being walked only a couple of times a day. They are very playful and affectionate, so be prepared to have toys on-hand when you are at home. Pugs can suffer from health problems due to breeding defects, so make sure you have a savings fund for the vet if you want this breed. Pugs can live alone, but prefer the company of other animals. The perfect excuse to get more than one pug!

9. Bullmastifs.


Pixabay.com

Bullmastiffs are a large dog breed, but since they're usually just laying around anyways, they don't need a big space with a big yard. These dogs on average require a minimal amount of exercise and are loving, but not very playful. Having a bullmastiff is like having a human friend; they're loyal companions but won't take up all of your time and energy. They're also very protective and easy to train as guard dogs.

10. Dachshunds (Short Hair).


Niki Sanders

Dachshunds, also known as wiener-dogs, are one of the smallest breeds in the hunting group. Short-Haired Dachshunds require no brushing and are moderately active dogs. They're the perfect size and exercise level for apartment living, on top of the fact that they're just so adorable. Make sure your dachshund is properly trained though, as they can be fearful and sometimes aggressive towards strangers and other dogs.


These are some of the 10 best breeds of dogs for college students, but if you want to know more about different breeds, the most trusted resource is the American Kennel Society's website.

Even low-maintenance breeds require the basics, so don't think that getting one of these breeds won't still be a big responsibility. Having a pet is like having another person to take care of, so make sure you at least have some time and money set aside for daily walking, cuddle/play time, and vet check-ups. Despite the big responsibility, they're the perfect companion to help ease your nerves around exams and they're completely worth the hassle! And remember to adopt; don't shop.

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