Recently I was having a conversation with a friend about ways in which people can be environmentally sustainable. We were bouncing back and forth various ideas in which this could happen. My attention however was grabbed when she commented that being environmentally sustainable was expensive and the luxury of wealthier people. Her comment was one of the many like it that I have heard from others. Despite the negative stigma that being environmentally sustainable comes at a high price, you don’t need a huge amount of money in order to help out the environment. So as college students, I find it important for us to be aware of how we can be environmentally sustainable with the resources we already have and without breaking our banks.
Being environmentally sustainable can be acted out not only through student’s personal lifestyles but through their academic career as well. Each semester we students purchase notebooks, printer paper, and textbooks. To be more environmentally sustainable students could reduce the amount of paper intake by using their computer to write up notes from lectures and classes instead of buying spiral notebooks. Many textbooks are now available in online versions so while you are typing up your lecture notes you can view your online textbook as well. As for printer paper instead of buying separate packs of paper share with a friend and split the pack. If you do prefer to have your own printer paper than I would recommend getting recyclable paper to cut down your impact on the environment.
Besides making the right choices when buying supplies for school, the campus makes it very easy for students to continuously be aware that being environmentally sustainable is extremely important. Students should use the efforts of the campus to their advantage. Use the appropriate trash, recycling, and compost bins when discarding of trash and take time to read the informative signs above the bins like the ones in Market Café to improve your knowledge. USF has taken time to create a very informative website that educates students about what it means to be sustainable, environmental awareness events that are upcoming, and ways in which students can make sure they are being environmentally sustainable. You can visit this website at www.usfca.edu/greenteam.
It’s true that many organic, vegan, and vegetarian products can be on the expensive side. However, when it comes to quenching thirst, the cost of being green can be less expensive. Because I don’t believe in buying packs of water bottles I use a reusable water bottle. Reusable water bottles cost anywhere from only $10-$20 and honestly cut cost. I recently purchased a water filter pitcher from Walgreens that only cost $17 and helps purify my water. I don’t have to waste money on water bottles or worry about recycling all of the plastic anymore. It saves me money while helping out the environment at the same time.
People many times believe that being environmentally sustainable means spending countless amounts of money on organic foods and other environmental products. However, being sustainable can start simply with modifying the resources you already have and maintaining a clean lifestyle for the environment. You can modify your lifestyle without having to break out the cash. Simply care enough to do little things that can amount to a lot of change in the long run.