4 Eco-Friendly Efforts That College Students Can Take Part In
Politics and Activism

4 Eco-Friendly Efforts That College Students Can Take Part In

Four ways to protect ourselves from the looming treats of climate devastation.

18
4 Eco-Friendly Efforts That College Students Can Take Part In
https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-holding-plastic-bottles-and-hose-1201589/

Recently, The National Climate Assessment released a bleak report on the state of our climate. My mother brought it to my attention during Thanksgiving break, and as I scanned the "Overview" section on the way to TJ Maxx for a Black Friday sale, I had a bit of an existential crisis about my priorities. I was horrified when I learned that our climate is changing faster than it has during any other point in world history, especially considering the administration's recent denial of these scientific facts.

To me, there's a looming sense of personal obligation to take steps to protect against further environmental devastation. That's why I curated this list of easy eco-friendly efforts aimed at college students.

1. Light Awareness

I've noticed a strange trend amongst my peers of unnecessarily leaving on lights that serve no purpose. I recently walked through my boyfriend's apartment and noticed that he left on the small kitchen light over the stove. There is no telling for how long that light had been on, especially considering the switch is tiny with a layer of sticky residue from nights of cooking God-knows-what. Simply turning the light off after its use not only saves energy but is a good habit to get into for when we're paying our own electricity bills in the future.

Another practice that I've adopted is taking advantage of natural light, whenever possible. I try to keep my dorm light off throughout the day because the windows provide enough sunlight to illuminate the space. Plus, the use of natural light has many benefits including increasing productivity, boosting the body's vitamin D storage, and benefitting your vision, so you're doing yourself and the environment a favor by opting against electrical lighting.

2. The Two Forgotten R's: Reduce and Reuse

While I actively recycle in my dorm and encourage everyone else to do so, I think we focus too little attention on the other R's, reduce and reuse. Some small ways to reduce your electricity use is to opt for the stairs instead of the elevator or monitor your thermostat so that you're not being wasteful. One of my friends had a habit of blasting the heat and then using a fan at her desk to cool off her face. She realized it was illogical, and turned down her thermostat, but I think the element of consciousness is crucial.

At the beginning of October, I transitioned from going out to eat and getting water in a paper or plastic cup at the restaurant, to carrying around a reusable water bottle. I know this may sound inconvenient, but I just keep mine in my purse.

Another way to reuse is to sit in and dine at restaurants instead of taking to-go containers unnecessarily. I've watched countless people opt for the "to-go" option, just to sit down and eat their full meal at a restaurant's table. I also try to support restaurants who are making efforts to decrease their energy and waste consumption. Some of my favorites in the DC area are Founding Farmers, Sweetgreen, Busboys and Poets, and Fruitive.

3. Eat Vegan When You Can

First I want to say that advocating for veganism is a privilege, and some do not have the options which I enjoy in deciding their meals. I recognize this. However, the link between the meat and dairy industry and CO2 emissions is undeniable. Statistics show that if one person converts to veganism they will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by a whopping 1.5 tons annually. This is insane to me, yet I still cannot claim that I've committed wholeheartedly to eating vegan. For me, veganism requires a level of self-control which I have not yet achieved, but hope to in the future.

Although, I am proud of myself for becoming aware of the impact of my choices, eating with the environment in mind. It is so easy to participate in efforts like "Meatless Monday" or choose almond milk in your morning coffee over half and half. Vegan options are becoming increasingly accessible, and I urge college students to educate themselves on the power which we hold to allocate the foods produced in this country. One calorie from animal protein requires 11 times as much fossil fuel as one calorie from plant protein, and in my humble opinion the Beyond Burger is just as good (if not better) than a traditional beef burger, not to mention less expensive at Whole Foods.

4. Support Candidates Who Believe in Climate Change

This one is a little bit different, but arguably the most important way that college students can create change: we need to put pressure on politicians to protect us against climate change. How can we do this? By voting. I refuse to allow the voice of our generation to be erased from this narrative because we are the ones who are going to have to live with this devastation in the coming decades. Therefore, I urge you to vote for candidates who are committed to ending climate change.

Beyond voting, you can contact your senators and representatives and tell them how concerned you are about The National Climate Assessment, urging them to support legislation addressing its concerns. When the election rolls around, volunteer or donates to the campaigns of people who agree that climate change needs to be addressed. Participate in the American political system and claim your power as a citizen, who deserves to be protected against climate devastation.

Overall, I wholeheartedly believe that college students can impact the environment as long as we are intentional about our actions and take advantage of immense power.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Swoon

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less

Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B just dropped the hottest summer single yet. It's called "WAP" and we're going to get into all the intoxicating lyrics.

This song empowers females and their sexuality. These women put the ridiculous music industry female beef to bed, and I mean tucked away in a coma.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

How To Write Down The Holy Grail Recipe Everyone Begs You To Make

Because everyone has a signature cocktail, cake, or pasta they bring to every potluck.

NBC

From back when I used to bring my mom's classic white chocolate chip cookies to preschool on my birthday to now stirring up my signature tequila cocktails at every friends' barbecue, I've always had a couple of standby recipes in my culinary rotation.

Keep Reading... Show less
Adulting

Meet My Cat: Cheshire, The Stray Turned House Cat Who Lives in Michigan

I never considered myself a cat person, but Chess immediately stole my heart.

Madelyn Darbonne

In 2016, a stray cat gave birth to a litter of three grey kittens on my aunt and uncle's property. I had never considered myself to be much of a cat person, but these furballs immediately stole my heart. I got to watch them grow up until they were old enough to leave their mother's side.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

How To Binge-Watch A TV Show —And Then Write A Review About It

Writing your favorite and least favorite things about a show could not be more fun.

Photo by Mollie Sivaram on Unsplash

Looking for a new show to binge? Stop scrolling through your options and listen.

Sometimes a good show doesn't come down to the genre or the actors involved, it comes down to the fact that it is simply a GOOD show. If any of these things sound appealing to you, you should definitely watch.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

11 Reasons Why Getting A Cat Is The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Mental Health

Cats may mess up your puzzles but they'll always love you unconditionally — as long as you have some catnip, that is.

Scout Guarino

Alright, everyone, it's time to stop spreading the rumor that all cats are mean, aloof, and hate everyone. Like dogs, each cat has its own personality and tendencies. Some like a lot of attention, some like less — each person has to find the right cat for them. As for me, my cats Bienfu and Reptar have seen me at my worst, but they've also helped pull me out of it. They're a constant in my life and they give me the strength to get through the day in spite of my depression, and there's even scientific evidence to support it!

Keep Reading... Show less

I've been bleaching my hair since I was in seventh grade. Yes, you read that correctly, seventh grade. That's nearly 10 years of maintaining a very light shade of blonde that too-often brings about dryness and brittle strands.

Keep Reading... Show less

Chances are if you're here, you're probably interested in writing an open letter. Yay! We're excited to have you.

Of course, not all open letters are created equal. In fact, there's a recipe to writing one for Odyssey that'll get featured on one of our many verticals. When it comes to Swoon specifically (for those new around here, that's our dating and relationships vertical), we receive dozens of open letters each month, many of which are all very similar.

Keep Reading... Show less

With a new phone comes great responsibility: Do not break it! And the best way to do that is with a case. However, picking a case can be a challenge. No need to fret, I am here to help break down some of the best cases for the new iPhone SE 2020. Honestly, I think it's going to be impossible to choose!

Keep Reading... Show less

To some who have been out of the dating world for a while, it can be hard to get back into the swing of things after being single for some time. So, I asked 26 people what they think is important to know before looking for love again, here's what they had to say.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments