Changing habits are tough– Whether its to eat healthier, to be more organized, to always be on time to class, improvements to our daily doings don’t happen overnight. One habit I am slowly working to break is my HUGE impact on the environment– I have one large carbon footprint, people. So, I’m trying a few simple tactics to improve my effects on Mother Nature.
Recycling: Simple and effective. I have one trash can for my old food and other grossness and one for plastics, cans and glass. But, it goes further than that. What about using recycled goods to replace my usual daily products and needs?
For instance, old plastic water bottles are now being recycled into pens. A bunch of my friends picked up the B2P pens at the bookstore and they write really well. I think the coolest thing about them is they actually look like the bottles they were made from.
Also, recycled clothing is definitely in fashion (and I don’t mean it was worn before). Under Armour is now selling collegiate apparel made from 100% recycled polyester. How can you tell which garment is “green”? The earth-friendly styles each have a green inner seam around the collar for easy distinction.
Eating Less Meat: A vegetarian diet reduces one’s carbon footprint. I was a vegetarian for one year before going back to my burgers and hot wings. Since I’m not a great cook, I relied on pasta, which became pretty, pretty boring. Plus, as I ate my tofu I was sporting leather bags and shoes — hypocritical much? So, it’s time to give up some meat this time. Clearing trees for pastures, methane gas from animals (ie. burps, decomposing manure) and storing/transporting the meat accounts for 18% of greenhouse gas, according to one study. Leaving at least two meals of my day meatless seems like a big help.
Reducing Waste: In addition to recycling it’s also important to reduce waste (in order to have less trash and even recyclables, right?). So, I’ve started using reusable tumblers for my morning coffee. By making my coffee at home and carrying it with me, I save money, too (easily saving more than $10 per week). And for iced coffee? I double brew the coffee and then leave it in a pitcher in the fridge. There are really cute cups out now that are perfect to reuse for this sort of thing, too (even with reusable straws!).
For something simple like water, the Bobble is ideal. Just fill with tap water and the Bobble filters as you drink.
Something a bit less obvious when it comes to reducing waste are those diploma frames we all are working and have worked so hard for. What about the wood it takes to produce all of those frames we proudly mount on our walls? Framing Success is FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified meaning to make their frames, replanting occurs to replace the wood collected. So, when it’s time to display your achievement, ask your campus booksellers about this framing option!
We can all do a little something to improve our habits and to change the world. What small steps are you making to improve your carbon footprint?