With the temperature of the planet rising at an uncomfortable speed and climate change becoming a topic of everyday conversation, there’s no question that there needs to be a dramatic change in the way we as humans act on a daily basis to put both of these factors (and more) to a stop.
If you’re worried about the environment and are wondering what you can do to help (you should be!), VALLEY has compiled six easy ways to do just that. Check them out:
1. Go meatless once per week.
Livestock accounts for 15 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Of course, vegetarianism and veganism is the ideal end-goal to lower this statistic; however, it’s almost impossible that it will ever happen. More of a reachable goal would be to cut meat out of your diet just once per week. This will be hard for meat lovers at first, but you will quickly realize how easy it is to incorporate other sources of protein into your diet such as eggs, nuts, vegetables and beans. You may notice that it will make you feel better and more energized, too! Help the environment, help your body. It’s a win-win situation!
2. Get rid of one-use plastic!
Sixteen countries, from the UK to Kenya to Hamburg, have enacted laws banning certain types of one-time use plastic thus far, the United States not being on that list. It’s 2019 … there’s no need to use a different water bottle and plastic bag each and every time! Did you know that plastic takes 400 years to break down? That’s a LOT of time. Make it a goal to reduce one-use plastic by investing in reusable bags (.99 cents) and reusable water bottles ($10-15).
3. Be more recycling-aware.
Almost every single item that you use on a daily basis can be recycled. Paper and plastic are debatably the most important, but take a look at the list below to see what else you can recycle! Be sure to sort each of these items into their designated bins, which can be found on campus and outside of most apartment buildings.
4. Cut down on excessive Ubers and food deliveries.
Believe it or not, hopping in an Uber one-third of a mile to and from the bar every night adds up. Not many people think of the ramifications that companies like Uber have on the environment. Though it is convenient, the usually unnecessary fuel emissions have their effects on our planet each and every ride. This includes food delivery companies like Uber Eats, GrubHub and OrderUp! Rather than having food delivered to your front door, put on your walking shoes and go pick it up yourself! As long as it’s in a reasonable distance, of course. (The distance from the Meridian to the Metropolitan, which are on complete opposite sides of campus, is one mile. Anything within this should definitely be considered walking distance!)
5. Walk to class
Everyone has had to catch an Uber once in a while as a result of sleeping through alarms — we’ve all been there. But any time other than that, try to walk to classes, even the ones that seem far away. If you’re trying to optimize your time, familiarize yourself with the blue loop/white loop system, which run clockwise and counter-clockwise around campus almost 24 hours a day.
The only time you should be driving up to/from school completely solo, should be on move-in/move-out day when your car is stuffed with furniture! Carpooling with a friend (or two or three) will not only help cut back on major fuel emissions, but your wallet will be thanking you, too.