The ever-growing problem of sustainability is present in every aspect of our lives, but few people, especially students, take notice of it. According to the Oxford Dictionary, the word ‘sustainable’ means “to be able to be upheld or defended”. Applying this definition to the environment, it means that society should uphold a certain level of responsibility to defend the environment.
Students are thought to be the “better educated about current environmental issues” by the older generation, but living as a student, I can easily say that students are just as ignorant to climate change and the environment, and our carbon footprint than those who have never been educated about the environment in their lives.
Partying and finishing assignments in one night are the number one priorities for students, but being an eco-friendly student, I constantly think about the affect my habits have on the environment.
I’m going to make it a little easier for you students to sort out your plastics from your metals and help you understand how plastic bags are only good for one thing.
Recycling isn’t complicated.
Local councils have intruded our lives with the notion of RECYCLE RECYCLE RECYCLE, provided different bags and boxes for different materials, of course, these different coloured containers confuse students like you wouldn’t believe, and they don’t think to read what’s written on the side to see what goes where. So the simple remedy to this is, read what’s on your recycling containers, and fill such container with said items. Easy peasy.
Don’t make life plans in the shower.
Everybody is guilty of this, not just students. You lose yourself in the running hot water and then forget that you do actually have to get out of that shower at some point in your life, but that isn’t included in the grand plans you’re formulating in your head. Having a quick shower saves water and saves you money – perfect if you’re a student!
Turn everything OFF!
By turning everything off, I don’t mean leave it on standby, I mean turn it off! Leaving your tv, PlayStation, XBOX or even kettle and toaster plugged in and not turned off at the switch can use more energy than you think. Flick the switch after you’ve used your appliance, and you can save money and the environment all at once.
Re-use plastic bags until they can’t hold anymore.
Plastic bags can take from as little as 10 to as much as 1000 years to decompose, depending on where they end up. They degrade quicker in oceans, but the environmental risk of this is getting too high, animals are being massively endangered by rubbish in the sea. Sea turtles get tangled in them and eat them, thinking its food and dolphins are harmed by them too, as well as many other sea creatures. So before you ask the cashier at Tesco for a plastic bag, think about your impact on the environment and carry your stuff without a bag instead. Or just keep a spare with you, just in case!
The environment and the impact humans have on it are only in the media when something substantial happens, like a chunk of ice breaking off the North Pole’s ice sheet which is the size of Alaska, and then it slips everyone’s minds, but think about those few things the next time you’re washing your hair, buying your shopping or paying your bills. Every little thing makes a huge difference!