5 Ways To Stay Sustainable While Studying

Once again, this year, the call for sustainable and conscious living is loud and clear. As YouthSpeak Forum, to ensure sustainable consumption and production will be one of the Global Goals we’ll be tackling in March.

“Sustainable consumption and production is about promoting resource and energy efficiency, sustainable infrastructure, and providing access to basic services, green and decent jobs and a better quality of life for all. Its implementation helps to achieve overall development plans, reduce social costs, and reduce poverty.”

As exams are right around to corner, we took this chance to rethink our lifestyle and habits as students, thought of 5 ways to “do more with less” and contribute to a better environment by making green choices this month.

1.Stay away from disposables.
You have probably heard this one a couple of times now, but it can be never mentioned enough. To survive during the exam period, we go through cups of coffee, tea (and hopefully a lot of water). The majority of us also bring our own food to the university to keep it healthy and economic. Unfortunately, that would mean a lot of waste every single day unless we opt for reusable cups and containers over disposables ones. So try to reduce your plastic waste by buying few reusable items for this month. Plus, places around the university give discounts if you bring your own reusable item to fill!

2.Reduce your paper waste.
Paper is one of the main areas where university students can save money and the environment. The options are endless when it comes to reducing your paper waste. You can easily borrow books from the university library or maybe buy them second hand from someone who don’t need it anymore. If you’re studying from notes or slides, try not to print them. You have colorful highlight options on your laptop as well!

3.Recycle.
No matter how hard we try, even in the best case, we end up with unnecessary amount of printed assignments or papers handed out by lecturers by the end of each term. For that, most universities have recycle bins in the campus buildings. Be sure to put paper, plastic and cans in those bins. Take your game a step forwards and make it a habit to separate& recycle your waste at home as well. For that find the nearest recycle bin to your house and if you’re living in Austria it shouldn’t be too far anyway!

4. Avoid unnecessary energy consumption.
Most of us consume more energy while studying… Charging our laptops and phones multiple times a day and staying up late or even all night is only normal when you have a lot to do. Still, unplugging your chargers when not used or switching off your devices along with all the unnecessary lights while you’ re studying is only a few little things you can do. Research from the University of Kent has found that students can contribute reducing energy consumption by 37% if they can see the amount of energy they are using in real-time and are motivated by their peers to save energy.

5.Bike, walk or use public transportation.
Avoid driving your own car to the university campus. For many reasons it is the better option. Did you know that transportation accounts for more than 25% of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions? So, You will not only get some fresh air and save money but do more good for the environment more than you think by reducing your footprint.

Interested to learn more and do more to create your own impact? Check out YouthSpeak Forum 2019!

The Most Important Declaration

“It is time all nations and all people live up to the words of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, which recognizes the inherent dignity and equal
and inalienable rights of all members of the human race. This year marks the 70th
anniversary of that landmark document.”

– Secretary-General António Guterres.

Every so often a thing comes to pass with such an importance that we must stand up and recognize it. We must take on and spread its message as far as our voice will carry. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the first and the most fundamental declaration of human rights. It was drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the World and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 10 December 1948 in Paris.

Since then, 10 December is celebrated as the Human Rights Day. Different than the previous years, in 2018, the Human Rights Day has a special meaning to it. This year marks the 70th Anniversary of this remarkable document that proclaimed the inalienable rights we are each individually entitled, no matter who or where we are. ‘Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.’ Article 2

Although it may seem like we have a long way to go, there is a lot to appreciate in these statements that acknowledged the freedom and equality we all deserve way back in 1948. Now, On the 70th Anniversary of this universal milestone, The UN Human Rights Office, is calling every person to #StandUp4HumanRights and strive for equality in their actions. As a first step to make a difference I took the Human Rights Pledge*. “When anyones human rights are denied, I will raise my voice, I will take action. I will use my rights to stand up for your rights.”

Today, on 10th December Human Rights Day, #IChooseAction. Do you?