Sustainability does not only protect our ecosystem, but it also improves the quality of our lives by helping us lead a guilt-free lifestyle. It also preserves the natural resources for future generations which one of the biggest environmental concerns that we need to tackle before it is too late.
Adopting a sustainable lifestyle for a student is much simpler than one would presume it to be. Living sustainably in its simplest terms means to adopt a practical approach that aims to reduce personal waste (and as a whole, societal waste which further contributes to environmental waste reduction) and make a positive impact. Here are some ways students can take a step towards making a difference:
1. Totes are tote-ly the way to go!
On an average, more than 4 million plastic bags are used worldwide each year and while they are found abundantly and discarded even more quickly, only 1-4% of those bags are recycled. This is a great concern as the improper and inadequate disposal of plastic can harm the environment greatly, it even poses a threat to the wildlife if consumed. What we can do to help overcome this problem is give up on plastic bags and instead use totes or other reusable bags instead of opting for paper or plastic.
2. Avoid using temporary water bottles:
Reuse old water bottles or purchase reusable and refillable water bottles instead of tossing a new bottle into the trash every time you quench your thirst. In our campuses, plastic bottles of water can easily be found but perhaps it is a much better approach to bring our own bottles of water that we can refill from the common cooler. This is not only more mindful to the environment but also a pocket-friendly approach.
3. Donate what you don’t need:
Often, we find ourselves with a load of things in our rooms that are unnecessary or those we do not ever use. It would perhaps be better to share them with someone who needs it more than us instead of having it rot in a corner for the longest duration of time till it’s unusable and then turns into a waste. Give away your clothes, books or other items you don’t need to a trustable charity, or you could even sell those at your local thrift stores.
4. Thrifting:
If you have never come across the word ‘thrifting’ or ever wondered what it means, then this one is for you- thrifting means to go shopping at a thrift store or a flea market where you can find gently used (or sometimes even brand new) items at discounted prices. These are best when you are searching for a new outfit you wish to wear at your college party or simply wish to pamper yourself a bit. Thrifting not only saves your pocket-money (quite considerably) but it also gives a home to the items that would be otherwise discarded.
5. Take notes electronically:
Nowadays, everything is digitalized and if you are reading this article right now, that means you might own a device yourself which you can use for educational purposes (although, it could also be a borrowed device, but we are going to assume otherwise for simplicity). Instead of taking notes on papers, or purchasing notebooks and flashcards, it would be a much better decision to take notes electronically. If you have the MS Office downloaded on your PC, you could always take notes on MS Word or if you prefer to do it on the web then you can create your account on Notion and get started with your e-notes and tasks that need to be completed.
6. (And lastly,) go walking and go green!
In order to take up a healthier and sustainable lifestyle, it is also important to take care of our health. Walking or any other cardio exercise has proven to be extremely important in our daily lives. Incorporating these habits with sustainability means trying to avoid using vehicles for travelling short distances and instead walk or ride a bike to get to our destinations. This will not only get you into a better shape but will also help the environment by cutting down on the consumption of fossil fuels and will also save you a lot of money in the long run (especially considering the ridiculous rates of petrol nowadays).
Surely the entire world cannot change swiftly by the initiatives taken by one individual alone, but it is all about trying and influencing others to do so as well. If we take just one step at a time in doing the minimal to protect our mother nature, then we could be the heroes who saved the downfall of this beautiful planet. Our home. Our Earth.