The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This semester, I started an internship with the Sustainability Office on campus. We find ways of making buildings on campus more environmentally friendly, as well as teaching our students about the benefits of this lifestyle. Recently we held the “OzThrift” event in Swetman Gym and Marano Campus Center 133 where we sold clothes, bags, bedding, as well as things like refrigerators that were left behind in resident halls. There were many items you could take for free, and the most expensive item- the refrigerator- sold for thirty dollars. We sold many things but unfortunately we still have tons of clothes left.
How can we be more sustainable? Sometimes it’s hard to find where to start making changes. Here are some little things I’ve been doing to decrease my carbon footprint.
Carpooling/Walking to Campus
- I live about three minutes away from campus. Although I love driving my car, it’s not necessary to drive to campus every day. Walking is a great way to get a little exercise in, as well as helping the environment. My favorite part about walking is that the leaves will be changing colors soon, and I can watch the seasons change before me.
- If it happens to be raining, I will carpool with my roommates. Fortunately we have similar schedules, so we can all ride together. However, if you don’t have people to carpool with, there is the Centro bus that goes through town. It will drop you off at Marano Campus Center and can give you a ride home before 4pm too.
Eating Local and Seasonal Products
- I love eating strawberries all year round. Unfortunately they are only in season in late May or early June. To keep strawberries in my house, I freeze them for later. Freezing food helps reduce the amount of food that will end up in landfills. If I crave a strawberry smoothie in January, I will already have some on hand!
- Another way I love to eat locally is going to farmer’s markets or finding roadside stands at farms. My family loves to buy corn in the summer to help support our farmers. Eating food from your community reduces the greenhouse gasses it takes to bring the food to the store for you to buy.
Thrifting or Making Clothes
- It takes a lot of greenhouse gasses to make our clothes and bring them to our stores. Thrifting is a fun thing to do with friends, and it saves you money in the long run. I found a winter coat for ten dollars when it usually sells for much more. Also, if you happen to not want any clothes you currently own, donating them is a good way to give back to the community and to those who need it.
- If you happen to be creative, you might consider making your own clothes or upcycling some items in your closet! This is a great way to have something totally unique to you as well as showing off your talent.
These are just a few of the ways I’ve begun to decrease my carbon footprint and improve my environment. There is never as good a time as now to start wanting to better the world we live in.