Sustainability, according to a general idea, refers to the ability to exist continually. All of us have heard of this word, practically everywhere and many refer to it as a new, hot trend. Come to think of it, sustainability is hot and knowing that Mother Nature and her resources would continue to exist and replenish themselves over time is swell.
Except, we don’t really know that for sure, now, do we?
While the Earth is itself a self-sustaining entity, there’s only so much load that it can really take. With humans piling and pillaging all over for resources, using them wastefully or well, just using them and being a large number.
Well, it isn’t too tough to put two and two together to figure out that the self-sustaining entity is having quite a problem with fixing itself and providing for all of its children. Hence, sustainability drives and why I prefer to believe that sustainability is hot.
To quote Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Putting things in perspective here, I, a college student, would like to offer some ideas on how to boost sustainability on college campuses and sustainability does begin at home, and believe it or not, college campuses are a habitat for a lot of our young adulthood.
1. Get Digital
Now, currently living in the era of the Coronavirus, there’s one thing that we all realized: online studies are a very possible thing. While they are tough to work out, we have to realize that we live in the 21st century full of modern gadgets and gizmos, connected by invisible waves.
So, riddle me this. Why waste paper that ends the life of a perfectly healthy tree that might increase our lives by giving us oxygen?
According to reports, approximately 400 million metric tons of paper are produced and consumed globally each year. Current usage demands are just over 2 pieces of paper per hour per person, for each person on Earth. It is, in fact, a billion-dollar global industry.
My advice? Get writing your assignments and essays on those laptops and tablets. They are less hassle and more green. Bonus point?
Your dog won’t eat your homework.
2. Use a Bicycle
Now, we understand that walking on a college campus is not easy work. They aren’t small pieces of land but gigantic sites. So, would you rather spread carbon monoxide emissions, driving around a car, and waste fuel?
Or would you rather exercise as well and keep the environment clean?
- Keeps you fit and active.
- Gets you to class quicker, since you will not have to endure bumper-to-bumper traffic.
- Keeps the environment green and sustainability is survival, my friend.
- Saves money – eye grabber for college students
3.Creating a Campus Garden
As we mentioned earlier, colleges are these gigantic chunks of land and according to building standards in practically every country, it is forbidden to build on 100 percent of that huge area.
To use that area in a rather sustainable way, a major idea is to create a campus garden. Water them, sit there, just enjoy the natural life. Growing vegetables and fruits in the same land are beneficial as well, as they can be used in and around the area.
4. Water Refilling Stations Around the Campus
This is a rather big one. Water bottles are made out of plastic and plastic is an environmental degrader. Buying water bottles around the campus leads to the production of more plastic.
To cut down on that, it is pertinent that water refill stations must be placed so that students may buy their own bottles to be used over and over again (preferably, not plastic) and it also cuts down cost on the student’s pocket and clean water is (or at least, should be) a right.
5. Putting Rainwater to Use
Another point for water sustainability comes through from putting all water that can be used, not being let go into waste. Rainwater is a major source of water but gets tainted and downright unclean and unfit for usage but caught at the right time, into clean settings and being sent to be purified and that water is absolute gold.
Convincing college authorities to employ these methods might be a bit on the tough end but worth the struggle.
6. The Five R’s
Now, the common conception is three R’s. Let me introduce you to another two.
- Recycle: Which refers to using something in one way and then in another later on. It means turning it into a raw item that can be used for another purpose later on. For example: recycling paper
- Reuse: A bit of a spin on recycling. Reusing refers to using an article in its original shape and form for a different purpose.
- Reduce: The most sustainable way is to reduce major usage of products.
- Refuse: Which refers to saying no to most things that harm the environment.
- Repurpose: Reform something. Get DIYing.
7. Avoid Disposables
Using disposables causes pollution since most disposables are made of plastic and not the biodegradable kind. Instead of using disposable cutlery, plates, pens and the kind, use the kind that stays longer and is, at the end, biodegradable or at least recyclable and causes less harm.
Use bags and follow the acronym BYOB—bring your own bag.
8. Separate Bins
Separation of bins is an important step that pushes into the direction of sustainability. Recyclable goods go down a long way if they are sent down to being recycled and the other waste may salvage the Earth by bringing the soil to life in the form of compost.
So, instead of throwing mindlessly, remember the next time, ask the college authorities to separate out bins and the waste.
9. Composting Programs
From the cafeteria to your favorite coffee stand, a load of food goes waste. Instead of throwing into the trash and mixing it with other waste which renders all completely useless, throw the food into a compost pit.
The compost thus made can be used to tend to the campus garden.
10. Be an Environmental Bookworm
While books are the ultimate college weapons. Using old books and hand-me-downs are an easy way to make sure that you are in tune with sustainability. No new books mean saving paper which in turn means saving trees and hence, we reach the point that we wanted to get to.
Setting up such initiatives on a college campus is a rather nice way of saying thanks to Mother Nature.
Campus sustainability is attainable and easy like that.
- Bridgstock, L., 2021. 8 Tips for a More Sustainable Campus. [online] Top Universities. Available at: <https://www.topuniversities.com/blog/8-tips-more-sustainable-campus> [Accessed 26 March 2021].
- Mixer Direct. 2021. The Top 10 Paper Producing Countries. [online] Available at: <https://www.mixerdirect.com/blogs/mixer-direct-blog/the-top-10-paper-producing-countries-in-the-world#:~:text=Approximately%20400%20million%20metric%20tons,for%20each%20person%20on%20Earth.> [Accessed 26 March 2021].
- Sixthreezero.com. 2021. 5 Reasons To Ride A Bike As A College Student Instead Of Driving | Ways For College Students To Get Around Campus | Sixthreezero. [online] Available at: <https://www.sixthreezero.com/blogs/bike-advice/5-reasons-to-ride-a-bike-as-a-college-student-instead-of-driving> [Accessed 28 March 2021].
- Sunbolt. 2021. Top 55 Green Campus Ideas for a Sustainable Innovative 2021. [online] Available at: <https://gosunbolt.com/green-campus-sustainability-ideas/> [Accessed 28 March 2021].