6 Super Simple Ways to Help Planet Earth
I tried to make this title as simple as possible, because reducing our impact on the planet is just that, simple! College students are one of the busiest and most stressed demographics, but we are also the next generation of change for the world! And I promise these are indeed really easy ways to reduce your environmental footprint!
1. Reusable Water Bottles
Who doesn't love a good water bottle? I know we are all drinking our daily recommended 8 cups of water a day, but what out of? I myself am a water bottle collector, and I have one for every occasion, even a little pink cute one for those days I want to feel classy.
I'm sure you've heard, water bottles are one of the biggest contributors to pollution, and for what? I'm gonna be honest, we live in Victoria, there is no good reason to be buying plastic water bottles! We have great tap water, Camosun even has filtered water fountains if you're that worried about it!
Nearly 60 million water bottles are discarded into landfills every year, that's LANDFILLS. If you're using a plastic water bottle, good golly miss molly if you are not recycling it… There are quite literally recycling bins beside the garbage cans. Beyond disposing of the physical bottle, shipping it causes pollution, making it causes pollution, there are health concerns associated with drinking from those kinds of plastics? Do yourself a favour, and drink your water from a safe, reusable container! The bookstore sells some really cool Camosun ones, and if you attend a CamFest I swear there are always free ones up for grabs!
Bonus Tip: There are reusable solo cups for when you aren't drinking water!
2. Cold Water Washing
If you use cold water to wash your laundry, you can save up to six pounds of carbon emissions PER LOAD. Not to mention you don't have to separate your whites! Which saves time and you from doing a whole other load of laundry!
3. Meatless Monday
Hear me out on this one, because I don't know if I've mentioned it, but I am a vegetarian...and I promise this is coming from an environmental stand point! I am by no means preaching my lifestyle! It is a fact though that the meat industry, specifically cows, contribute “emissions” (farts) to our environment. Livestock are responsible for 18% of the annual green house gasses; that's more than cars, planes, and all other transportation put together.
I'm going to let that sink in.
Considering livestock pollute more than cars going meatless one day a week doesn't seem like such a big ask, does it? There are tons of great vegetarian meals out there that aren't full of tofu and soy. Fettucine alfredo anyone? Who doesn't love Kraft dinner?
4. Paper-Free Notes
There's an app for that...literally. Microsoft OneNote, EverNote, just to name two! These are programs that help you organize an electronic notebook! This saves on those lovely trees that would otherwise be used to take down your notes! This also saves space in your bag! Which means you can pack more snacks!
If you do still prefer pen to paper, do your best to recycle your notes at the end of the term!
5. Power Down Your Phones (and other technology)
When your phone is plugged into the wall and fully charged, did you know it still pulls power? Make sure to power down your cell phone and other technology when you plug it in overnight! Then in the morning do your best to unplug your charger from the outlet! Because those still draw power even when there is nothing plugged into them!
Turning off your laptop fully also extends its longevity, and reduces your risk of total hard drive meltdown! This tip comes straight from the guy at Microsoft who told me my files were unrecoverable after my laptop had that meltdown! Don't learn the hard way like I did! Shut down your devices overnight!
6. Reusable Grocery Bags
Ditch the plastic and use cloth! And I don't just mean the grocery store, think about the bookstore, fast food places, most clothing stores, everywhere has plastic bags! Up to 80% of marine debris is made up of plastic products like bags. Plastic bags are even more dangerous because of much they look like jellyfish in the water!
Do our fishy friends a favour and save the plastic!
Next time you are at Subway or 7/11, ask the cashier to save the plastic, because chances are you already have a backpack on! When buying more than one thing brign some cloth bags! They'll save you in the long run because did you know stores like Thrifty Foods offer a rebate for bringing in your own bags? So not only is it good for the environment, it is also good for your wallet! Additionally, the reusable ones often have super cool patterns!