written by Asli Ertem
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!
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!