The growing interest in the preservation and improvement of the environment has great significance to the youth of today and tomorrow. Since they are the ones who will have to live and work on the planet in the future, every choice we make now determines the world they live in later. Our investments in green technologies and processes are all positive steps in securing a better, healthier future for our descendants and our planet.
It’s easy to overlook, but major environmental progress can be achieved through the adoption of green initiatives in colleges across the country and the world. What are some things you can do to start your own green initiative at college if your campus doesn’t have one? Here are some ideas.
1. Going Paperless — or Nearly So
One of the more obvious ideas for going green is to adopt a near paperless operating style. If universities cut their use and dependency on paper to the bare minimum, they could save hundreds of thousands of trees a year from being used for the purposes of paper production.
This initiative can also lead to an expansion of paper composting practices. As each hardcopy textbook, notebook and paper test gets converted to a digital format, the shredded paper versions can be added to the university’s composting program. If there’s no such program in the works, this process can serve as its beginning as well.
2. Establishing Campus Gardens
Another idea is the implementation and upkeep of campus gardens. The institution of college demands a greater focus and dedication of its students. Those serious in their pursuit of a higher education may view a garden as a frivolous and unnecessary indulgence.
However, gardening has not only proven itself a valuable aspect of green living and environmental care, but also as an effective remedy against stress, anxiety and depression — three issues that plague a significant portion of college students today.
3. Developing an In-Depth Recycling Program
Reducing waste in the form of discarded plastic, bags, glass and aluminum can certainly serve as an environmental benefit, but true improvements can be achieved through an even more in-depth recycling program. Can items be composted? Can things like cans, plastic bottles and paper be upcycled to create new items rather than simply be put in the recycling bin?
From engineers to artists, it’s certainly a problem that encourages participation and solutions from a wide scope of subject majors.
4. Going Green for Transportation
Changing the transportation regime at school may seem like a herculean task, but it doesn’t have to be.
How could you do it? Encourage students to walk or bike to class by organizing a group. Work with your university to ensure there are enough bike racks available to interested students. You might also see if you can set up a bike-sharing program, so students wouldn’t have to worry about storing and maintaining their own bikes.
No matter what, cutting back on driving through or around campuses would decrease gas consumption, increase physical health and reduce smog emissions drastically.
Make a Difference
Can one person make a difference in developing a green campus at their university? Absolutely.
While large-scale implementations might be necessary for change on a global scale, it’s the smaller more centralized alterations to everyday life and culture that will make the difference in the long run. It’s the locally-farmed foods we buy in our towns and cities, the sources of power and transportation we utilize as normal citizens and the way we live as blue-collar workers, entrepreneurs, experts and students. This includes the day-to-day operations for institutions of higher learning and the different components of college campus life.