Going Green at BU

Illustration courtesy of Gabbie Evans

MARIA RAPISARDA | OPINION EDITOR | mrapisar@butler.edu

Whether or not people wish to acknowledge it, climate change is real, and it is on us to do something to rectify the damage.

 

It is reasonable for college students to perceive this as difficult, considering most are confined to small living spaces that lack air-conditioning, and most have a reliance on cheap food. Unfortunately, this can result in a plethora of non-environmentally friendly habits including: plastic water bottles, portable fans and long showers.

 

It may not seem as if you are contributing to climate change, but in reality, tweaking your habits can make a world of difference. Here is a list of some simple yet effective changes that will aid in the fight to save the environment:

 

  1.     Walking

This may come across like a no-brainer, but in terms of convenience, it can be easy to forget how often we choose to drive to class rather than just walk.

In 2011 alone, Butler issued 1,832 student residence vehicle permits; 1,007 student commuter permits; and 1,453 faculty/staff permits. While driving the short distance to campus does not seem harmful to the environment, overtime trips to campus just means an accumulation of carbon dioxide.

Butler is such a small campus that unless you are terribly late, have asthma or it is hotter than heck, there really is no logical reason for you to choose to drive rather than walk. Plus, it saves you a parking ticket.

 

  1.     Carpool

In the case that a car becomes necessary, carpooling is another simple solution that decreases your impact on the environment.

 

  1.     Limit Plastic

Another way to help fight climate change is to use a reusable water bottle instead of buying plastic ones.

According to Ban The Bottle, Americans consume over 8.6 billion gallons of bottled water in a single year. Unfortunately, it takes between 400 to 1,000 years for plastic water bottles to decompose.

So rather than contribute to this waste, carrying around a reusable water bottle means hydration for you and salvation for the environment.

 

  1.     Recycle

Like walking, it can be difficult to completely eliminate the use of plastic water bottles. Therefore, if you do choose to use plastic, make sure you recycle it!

Last year, the average American used 167 water bottles, but unfortunately only recycled 38.

For college students, just put another trash can next to your regular one and label it ‘recycling’. Then, whenever you take your trash out, you can also take out your recycling. This should be easy considering Butler University has many recycling locations all over campus and at various residence halls.

 

On top of this, being environmentally conscious makes you more open to other ‘green’ solutions like taking shorter showers, using reusable bags at the grocery store, turning off your portable fans when you are not in your room and even using energy efficient light bulbs.

 

A little goes a long way, especially in terms of an environmental impact.

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