How Students Can Improve Sustainability on Campus
Improving sustainability is about more than installing a few recycling bins here or there. It’s also about changing the culture on the campus to not only encourage, but also facilitate sustainable initiatives. And it takes the commitment of the whole student body as well for these initiatives to work. Here are a few ways students can do their part to improve sustainability on their campus.
Use Non-Disposable Items
A large portion of the waste on campus is generated by disposable items like forks, spoons, plates, and cups. While a lot of disposable items these days are recyclable or biodegradable, a lot of disposable plastic items aren’t and these end up filling our landfills and sitting there for years before they break down.
While having to clean dishes might seem like a chore, sticking to reusable cups, plates, and utensils will not only make the campus more sustainable, but it will also end up saving you money in the long run.
And if you want a zero waste university, water bottles have to be addressed as well. While they might seem convenient, you should ditch disposable water bottles and go for reusable ones instead. You should also petition for more water dispensers to be installed as well. Companies like Bevi.co, for instance, are working hard to promote zero waste universities. Bevi makes smart water dispensers that not only dispense water but flavored sparkling water as well, which will reduce waste generated by soft drink bottles and cans too. Ask your campus president if they would be open to adding these type of dispensers around the campus to reach zero waste objectives.
Adopt a Minimalist Lifestyle
People are often unwilling to make sacrifices when it comes to sustainability. But our cushy lifestyles usually come at the expense of it. Adopting a minimalist lifestyle based on less consumption and more self-reliance is one of the fastest and most effective ways to live a sustainable life.
Minimalism is all about avoiding consumption whenever possible and looking for alternatives. This could mean anything from swapping clothes with a friend instead of buying a brand new outfit for a big party or cooking at home instead of ordering out.
Self-reliance will allow you to save lots of money as well. You’ll be surprised at how much you can save by replicating your favorite takeout recipes at home. You’ll also be furious at how much takeout is marked up when you can do just as good, if not better, on your own.
Get Yourself a Bike
There’s no way around it. Driving a car might be fun and convenient, but if your climate allows for it, you should consider getting yourself a bike. Not only will it reduce your carbon emissions, but it will also allow you to make big savings on transit. It’ll save you on a gym membership too.
All these tips will allow you to make your campus more sustainable in the long run. Make sure that you do everything in your power to reduce waste and overconsumption and take initiatives so that actions are made to change the culture of your campus as a whole.