College, in a way, sets the path for your adult life.
Not only do you have more freedom and more responsibilities, but you also grow into yourself and begin forming habits that will likely stick with you for a long time to come.
One of the things you should begin thinking about is the issue of sustainability and how you can, in your own little way, make positive change and even influence others around you.
Here are some tips to help you start building a sustainable lifestyle right from college.
1. Go Electronic
With the world focusing on digitizing most activities, you can join the fray by ditching notebooks and taking down your notes on a laptop or other electronic devices.
Not only does this contribute to saving the environment, but it also saves you money by not having to buy notebooks. You also have the added convenience of having all your notes in a central point.
2. Adopt Reusable Bags
Reusable bags are a cleaner alternative to plastic bags. You can invest in one or two bags and bring them to the store when you need to go shopping. Buying plastic or paper bags every time you shop is both wasteful and unnecessary.
3. Recycle or Re-use
Essentially, recycling ensures items for disposal do not end up in landfills.
Some campuses have solid waste management systems, and you get to take recyclable items to a central point. If this is not available, you can find out if these options are available near your campus.
Corporates are also increasingly finding ways to help support individual efforts. Mattress recycling in Adelaide is an excellent example of this.
Aside from recycling, think about donating items in good condition for re-use.
4. Buy a Good Quality Water Bottle
Getting a good, BPA-free water bottle stops you from buying water in plastic bottles every other time. This then reduces the number of waste plastic ending up in landfills.
Granted, plastic is recyclable. However, every bottle of water takes three times its water capacity to make. This water can go towards other uses.
Therefore, buy and encourage your circle to also buy durable bottles. Refill your bottle with water, juice, smoothies and so on and carry it to lecture halls, the gym, recreation centres and anywhere else you might need to sip on your drink.
5. Buy Organic
As much as possible, try to shop at organic stores.
Organic farming focusses on growing produce and rearing livestock without the use of harmful fertilizers and pesticides.
These chemicals contribute to the quantity of greenhouse gases, which leads to global warming and erratic weather patterns.
By buying organic foods, you are supporting reduced pollution, use of less energy, better soil fertility and healthier ecosystems.
6. Be Mindful about Resources
Build a habit of turning appliances off when not in use. This includes electronics and lighting.
A simple way of doing this is by connecting all your appliances to a surge protector. This way, you only need to power off one switch when exiting your room.
Similarly, stay in the shower only for as long as is necessary. You might wonder why water conservation is necessary, seeing as 71% of earth’s surface is covered by water. However, only 3% of this is freshwater, and of this, only 0.5% is available for drinking.
With a growing population, it then makes sense that you do your bit to conserve this resource.
While you might deem your efforts to be insignificant, in reality, they are not. With billions of other people around the world, making an effort in their own small way, these efforts can go a long way in making the world a better place.
So, start small and remain consistent in your efforts. It all pays off in the end.