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.

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.

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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Why Rats Are Underrated Pets

And perfect for the average college student.


When most people think of the word "pet", a cat or dog may inevitably come to mind. Still, there are many different types of animals which can be kept as pets, including birds, snakes, fish, rabbits, etc. While pets like snakes and lizard perhaps are not as cuddly or cute as other pets, they can still be fun and and interesting to have.

The word "rat" typically conjures up a beady-eyed rodent that is typically used in the same vein as the words "dirty" or "disgusting". Some people also think of the plague (though it is fleas, and not necessarily rats themselves who are to blame for that). Despite their less than ideal reputation, however, rats are actually relatively clean animals that groom themselves several times a day, and can form lifelong bonds with their owners. There are several reasons domesticated rats actually make great pets.

Aside from being cleaner than one might think, there are several species of rats which have been bred to be kept as pets. They are also rather intelligent, as can be seen by their ability to run though complicated mazes, and even show empathy for each other. In one study, two rats were placed in a cage. One was held in a closed restrainer, while the other was free in the cage. Amazingly, the free rats would often learn to open the restrainer door by themselves and free their companion. They were not trained to do this, and in another study, where an additional restrainer was added to the same cage and filled with chocolate chips, the rats were more likely to free their companion first before opening the restrainer with the food.

Rats can also recognize their owners by sight and the sound of their voice. They are social animals, some of whom like being around humans. For the average college student, they are also typically cheaper and easier to care for than a cat or dog. Unless you own some type of mutant rat, it is also possible to leave the apartment for class and not have to worry about what kind of destruction you'll see when you return.

Overall, rats make for a great lower-maintenance pet. Many rat owners can tell you that while it may take time to form a bond with your furry friend, it's very much worth it in the end.

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