Climate change is real. That’s a risky thing to say, but I’m okay with taking the chance.
It’s on us to fix what we’ve done to the earth before it chooses to eliminate us. But, as college students, even the simple act of recycling can be a challenge. Students like Ken Williams, who introduced a recycling initiative to SGA, are working to change the scene.
We have some great habits already. For example, OCU Buy/Sell/Trade (and other similar Facebook pages) is a wonderful way to reuse items that we might otherwise go buy new. But what can we do beyond those things?
Something I do that I shouldn’t, is accepting all of the free things I’m offered as a student. I will never wear the many wristbands I’ve accumulated from OCU events, and I’ll just end up throwing that plastic away. If we refused items we do not really need or want, they could be saved for those who do and new ones would not be ordered unnecessarily.
We need to turn off/unplug things we are not using. The toaster only needs to be plugged in when it is toasting something delicious (hopefully), and the lights in the kitchen do not need to stay on all night (looking at you, roomies).
My roommates and I tend to fight about the temperature in the apartment (even though 73 is optimal and anybody who says otherwise is delusional), so the thermostat is always on, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you get a little chilly, throw on some socks. Or slide yourself into a sleeping bag, which is a portable bag of sleep and warmth. Why wouldn’t you want that?
Did you know you can get soda at Alvin’s with your own drinking container? And it’s only 55 cents! Holy cow, what a deal! And you aren’t using a disposable cup. On that note, we need to avoid taking the OCU water bottles that are handed out at so many events. There are water fountains all over campus, many of which have the reusable water bottle filling option (which is just cool).
Everyone has heard that they should bring reusable bags to the grocery store. This one is hard for me because I do not have a car, so I’m always catching a ride to the store, but plastic bags go straight into the garbage and paper bags are actually not much better for the environment.
When you go to Alvin’s or the caf, consider not using a stirrer or a straw in your drink. It’s a small piece of plastic that we barely even think about, but, boy, do they add up.
Living up to my nickname of “Flower Child,” I encourage you all to channel your inner green hippie and challenge yourselves to be a little more sustainable.