Friday, February 3, 2023

5 Eco-Friendly Alternatives for College Students

by Keisiah Dawn Tiaoson | December 13, 2022

     Humans are said to be one of the most advanced beings to exist on planet Earth throughout the millennia. They have the ability to understand and comprehend. They can think rationally and weigh for themselves the consequences of their own actions. Accordingly, the logical responsibility to protect and preserve the environment is imposed upon them. 

     However, this particular moral obligation has been neglected. The deteriorating health of Earth is a long-term problem to animals and humans alike, and it is critical to act now. At this point, alerting people to the numerous problems regarding plastics, waste, and unsustainable practices is far from enough to do justice—but united consistent efforts and shifts towards sustainable alternatives can.

     A reevaluated personal university lifestyle is necessary in the effort to reduce carbon footprints. Unlearning standard practices ingrained by social culture and profit-minded corporations can steer humanity against compromising the health of the environment. For ‘tired and broke’ college students this is easier said than done, so here are 5 simple and convenient alternatives to help take a preliminary step towards environmental conservation:

  1. Benefit from reusable cups.

     However satisfying it is to walk around the campus while holding a logo-stamped single-use cup from a coffee shop, one could opt to bring their own reusable cups. Reducing the consumption of straws and single-use cups one person at a time could accumulate to achieve the desired outcome of reducing waste that will end up in landfills and help keep the environment cleaner and healthier 

  1. Bring a towel/ handkerchief with you.

     Retouching one’s appearance, refreshing, or simply wiping sweat away, does not need to produce waste. Face towels and handkerchiefs are not just reusable, they are also a cheaper option in the long run. Wet wipes are made of microplastics, which are a non-biodegradable product that clogs water systems and affects marine animals such as sea turtles, among others.  

  1. Walk or ride a bicycle more often than taking a pedicab. 

     Walking instead of paying for a pedicab ride is not just a form of saving money and exercising , but it also helps in reducing air pollution. The decrease of carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles helps in addressing problems regarding greenhouse gases.  

  1. Bring your own water bottle. 

     Plastic water bottles are single-use and contribute to waste pollution as they are non-biodegradable and have a hazardous production process. Bringing your own water bottle is an advantage. Not only does it keep your drink cold or hot, but it also eliminates additional payment for a purchase of bottled water every time you are thirsty. 

  1. Carry eating utensils and lunch boxes with you.

     A take-out lunch is especially common for students for reasons of convenience, time-saving, and the lack of seating space where they buy food. Take out containers are usually single-use, and both plastic and paper containers are harmful because they emit massive amounts of pollutants during production. Bringing your own lunch box and eating utensils will eliminate the need for single-use containers.

     These are just a few of several simple steps in securing an environment that promotes welfare and greener surroundings. In the pursuit of securing an environment that would still be able to sustain life a hundred years from now, the journey can start even at the grass root levels. Earth is everyone’s home and responsibility, and the consequences of humanity’s unlawful actions are now far beyond prediction. It is imperative to recognize the role of humanity as “Stewards of Nature,” and be reminded that as the environment is protected, so is the very existence of humanity.

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