Climate change is real and happening, but it is not too late to do something about it. Below are simple changes you can adopt, in order to make this planet better for the next generations:
1) Recycle, Recycle, Recycle!
I can’t stress this hard enough. Recycling is the first major step towards a more sustainable lifestyle. Each college campus I have been to, did have at least two waste bins: one – usually green – for recyclable elements and another one for non-recyclables. However, the recycling bins receive barely any love/trash.
Materials that should be recycled include plastic bottles (with caps off), paper, cardboard, metal cans, and glass.
2) Shop at environmentally friendly grocery stores and markets.
College students often have modest budgets, and I reckon that prices at places such Whole Foods or local farmers' markets may seem intimidating. We shouldn’t be quick to walk away, though.
Living sustainably goes hand in hand with reducing our dietary consumption. So next time you’re about to Netflix and chill, replace those usual two cheap boxes of popcorn with one organic box for the same price. That’d great for both the environment and your body – because less fat!
3) Invest in reusable shopping bags.
Back home in Rwanda, plastic bags have been banned since 2008 and I cannot emphasize enough how many wonders that ban brought. Plastic bags are non-biodegradable; they are very harmful to the flora and fauna. Aim to invest in reusable alternatives such as paper bags which are very cost effective and durable.
4) Plant trees.
Deforestation is a tough issue in today’s climate change era as trees are vital to our planet’s wellbeing – they filter out the air, provoke precipitation, prevent erosion, etc. One of the most popular holidays is especially very tree-unfriendly: Christmas. So this December, please do not go tree picking/hunting. Invest in an artificial Christmas tree instead, and plant a tree of your own!
5) Minimize water consumption.
It is ridiculous how much water is wasted during regular household activities such brushing teeth, showering, laundry, etc. While brushing teeth for e.g., one should turn off the water until it is time to rinse off. Small gestures such as taking relatively shorter showers can save our planet.
6) Turn off unnecessary lights.
How many times have you left the lights on in your room for a whole night? I have to admit I’m guilty of such an irresponsibility too. In the U.S., most of our electricity derives from fossil fuels, which, you guessed it, are very harmful to the Earth.
That means that every time you leave a light on for no reason, more energy is consumed and thus, more harm is done to Mother Nature. It is the small things that count; turn off the TV before going to bed, unplug unnecessary devices, and turn off those lights!
7) Go paperless.
We college students often use huge amounts of paper, whether it is for home works, essays, reports or tests. As most know, paper comes from trees and should therefore be consumed with moderation.
It really is not that complicated; submit your assignments via email, and you’ll see how many trees – and how much printing money – you’ll have saved.