This month of April, we are going to celebrate Earth Day. This annual event started in 1970 to demonstrate support for environmental protection. Earth Day is celebrated every April 22. This year, the theme is “Invest in Our Planet”. According to earthday.org, the goal is to “engage more than 1 billion people, governments, and institutions, along with businesses, and by using Earth Day as a platform, we aim to push aside the barriers that have been erected by the fossil fuel industry and economy and redirect all of our attention to create a 21st century economy that brings back the healing and health of our planet, protects all of the species, including our own, and provides opportunities for everyone on the planet.”
Since this celebration aims to let individuals, governments, institutions, and businesses to act individually and together, we would like to share how as a university student, despite the probable lack of financial and other resources, one can contribute or “invest” in the preservation of our planet. It just takes a little bit of creativity and genuine care.
We have listed down the best possible ways to become an eco-friendly student whether you’re remote learning or you’re in the university premises.
Use Little to No Paper
If you’re into taking notes, the best way to reduce paper waste is to use gadgets as a modern way of taking notes for your classes like your cellphone and laptop. Nowadays, there are already a lot of available note-taking apps that are helpful with writing your digital notes. You can also access soft copies of books so it will be better to download instead of buying books. In these ways, you can save trees from being cut down (and from being converted to paper) and save money, too!
Reduce your Footprint
You might think that this will be in contrast with the previous item however, this will help you more with balancing the use of your gadgets and will let you save energy consumption while saving your pockets too. Reduce carbon footprint by lessening the use of gadgets and turning or switching off lights and other electricity-powered items in your house and at the University, especially when not in use. You may take turns in using your laptop and cellphone when trying to study using your digital books and notes (refer to item no. 1) but not together to reduce footprint. Another way is to try to open windows (for ventilation and light) and to dress according to the weather conditions so it will not be too hot or cold.
Use Reusable Products and Products made from Recycled Materials
To lessen your waste, you can invest in buying reusable items and products that are made from recycled materials. There are already lots of eco-friendly shops, online and offline, that sells reusable materials that are handy at the same time such as straws, water bottles, plates, and others which you can bring inside your bag and use when you’re outside. When buying groceries or other stuff, you can have a reusable bag where you can place the items. There are also shops now that makes products from recycled materials such as make ups, notebooks, rugs, and even shoes!
Use Sustainable Transport
Work up your sweats and save your money for gym by using sustainable transportation like bikes and public transport! We aim for a lesser carbon footprint and fuel consumption so it will be helpful if people are transported in batches or groups from one place to another. If you prefer to travel alone to avoid the risks of COVID 19, use bikes or you can choose to walk if your destination is not that far.
Segregate and Recycle
Another way you can be an eco-friendly student is when you decide what to do with your waste or trash. If you no longer use stuff, you throw them out in the proper bin. However, that does not end there. You can also choose to give them out for other people to use (if it can still be used by others), or re-sell and re-purpose them. Often, it is notebooks and books that are really the problem for the students. For the books you can give it to others or re-sell them. While notebooks can be properly disposed. You may also like to inquire from your local government about how waste is disposed so you know where your wastes go.
Participate in Eco-friendly Projects
Although this item might be challenging due to academic workload, take time to join and participate in eco-friendly projects like tree planting and coastal clean ups. As an Iskolar ng Bayan, we are known for pushing for causes which concerns social and environmental issues so, there should be an environmental organization, small or big, that will fit your desired goals and projects. Plus, it’s always good to have helping hands and to gather people together in pushing for the same causes, right? Little contributions and collective action goes a long way!
As the world progresses, let us not forget to preserve the only planet we live in.
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