In honor of Earth Day, I just want to remind everyone again how important it is to start making changes in your life to live greener. I’m not saying you all have to go out right now and start a compost heap, convert your cars to biodiesel, or throw out your whole wardrobe and only buy clothing made from organic materials.
Just do something.
I know some of you are probably wondering what kind of impact you can make–you’re just a college student, after all. While you may not think that just one person makes a difference, think about it on a larger scale.
For starters, think about all the paper you go through in just one semester: you have a syllabus for every class (which is sometimes multiple pages), countless handouts from professors, and all the papers and assignments you have to print out and hand in. I know students at my school whose professors make them print out PowerPoint Presentations from the web and bring them into class, which sometimes are more than 20 or 30 pages per chapter!
That’s a lot of paper. All together, it’s estimated that each U.S. college student produces about 640 pounds of solid waste each year, which includes 320 pounds of paper and 500 paper drinking cups! All those Starbucks runs do more than just empty your wallet!
And it’s not just the students at your college creating so much waste–admissions offices around the country receive nearly 600,000 pieces of paper during each admissions cycle, and much of that is photocopied for records, which only creates more paper waste!
When you look at things on a larger scale, you can see how much impact college students can have on the environment. If each of us only made a few small changes–like recycling paper or investing in a reuseable coffee travel mug–we can start to cut down on the negative effects that we have on this planet.
If all that isn’t enough to get you changing, perhaps thinking about an end to these will. Awww.