Every Day is Earth Day
Everyone does what they can to honour Earth Day. It’s a day set aside to celebrate and advocate for environmental protection. Around 1 billion people in over 190 countries participated in activities on 22 April to attract attention to the climate problem and inspire behavioural change to safeguard the environment better. Celebrations sometimes include helping the environment, such as planting trees, picking up trash, spreading the word about recycling, or cutting down on energy use. I think I can speak for every “Green Soldier” when I say that, as wonderful as Earth Day is, we don’t want to or like to save all of our environmental energy for just one day. Every day, you can help reduce our ecological footprint in various ways right here on campus. (Hungerman and Moorthy, 2023, p. 230). And here you thought we would speak about recycling and conserving water. Well, think again; although reusing materials and conserving water is a no-brainer, so don’t hesitate. However, there are plenty of other exciting options to explore. For instance, the shift toward digital culture is fantastic news for Earth. Many universities now provide online courses, electronic libraries, and online examination software. I would rather not waste paper and money on notebooks, so I prefer taking notes online. I dare you, too, to “avoid” the bookstore and instead read books online.
Ready to Start Your Journey
Recent studies show that the current generation of students cares a lot about environmental concerns. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) reports that 91 percent of students believe their school should try to assist in sustainable development. The two perspectives usually intersect in the question of what young people can do to promote sustainability in their educational experiences while attending University. Students of all academic backgrounds should get active in sustainable practices, events, and clubs on campus (Whitley et al., 2018, p.245). While some students may concentrate their studies on environmental or sustainability-related themes, others may opt to study something else entirely. Numerous student-run groups give options for engagement.
“I just can’t seem to get things going!” If you feel like this, I have some insight you need to consider, particularly if you are in your first or second year at Westminster. Students of all degrees and levels at our illustrious institution can collaborate with members of the institution’s staff to create, plan, and execute sustainability-related projects and interventions thanks to the Westminster Green Fund, which was established at the University in 2021. The Green Fund is already in its second year and has distributed funding to creative initiatives in various sectors (University of Westminster, 2023, p.1). These projects vary from a plastic reduction in the lab to robotic recycling arms controlled from a distance.
In addition, if you take part in the recycling and composting activities offered on campus, you may be able to cut down on the quantity of garbage you create. Regrettably, it is not accurate to say that all schools of higher education in the nation (or anywhere else) actively recycle and compost their waste. The University you attend may provide you with a recycling bin to use in your housing. If this is the case, you should maximize the opportunity. When you are a young adult, just beginning to strike out on your own, there is no better time than now to start building good habits like recycling than when you are striking out on your own for the first time. Next, find out what kinds of recycling and composting services are available on campus; if you don’t like them, you have more support and influence than you think you have. Participate in the worldwide eco-movement and make your voice heard to convince your school to limit the amount of waste produced for current and future students; sooner or later, they will have no choice but to listen.
Green on a budget
Maintaining a sustainable lifestyle while in University may be difficult, particularly for first-year students. The good news is that many suggestions are available to help you incorporate sustainable practices into your campus life. Feel free to modify the suggestions to work for your campus and use them as springboards for developing your own environmentally friendly routines. A campus hostel is a special place to live since everyone around you is your age or younger and going through the same things you are. Most students go into the residence halls without knowing many, if any, of their fellow residents. Also, since you’ll likely be sharing your dorm room with at least one other person, you won’t have room for the same comforts you had while at home with your parents. But considering the hostels, you will see how quickly that may alter. What do I mean by “luxuries that you cherished at home?” I am referring to the larger items, like a coffee machine or a printer, and the little ones, like scissors or a stapler, that you may be unable to keep in your cramped dorm room. The beautiful thing about living in a hostel is that another person could have what you need, and you might make an acquaintance while asking. Find the individual in the hall who brought their printer from home and ask if you may use it. This will save money and space for everyone. You may make a new friend and save money by sharing a printer rather than purchasing your own or using one of the University’s expensive printers.
Stumped finding a use for scissors? Instead of buying a new pair or having Amazon mail you some cheap ones from China, ask a neighbour if you can borrow theirs. Buying used rather than brand new is another great green lifestyle approach. In addition, thrift store shopping is a great way to give previously loved objects a second chance and keep them out of landfills. You may save much money by shopping at thrift stores rather than buying brand-new products (Morrison, 2022, p.1). You may locate one-of-a-kind items that aren’t sold anywhere else. You may have a positive university experience while also helping mitigate climate change’s effects by adopting eco-friendlier practices. Be green on a budget.
Hungerman, D. and Moorthy, V., 2023. Every day is earth day: Evidence on the long-term impact of environmental activism. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 15(1), pp.230-258. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1257/app.20210045. [Accessed 5 May 2023]
Morrison, R. (2022). A University Student’s Guide to Sustainable Living. [online] Unsustainable Magazine. Available at: https://www.unsustainablemagazine.com/university-student-sustainable-living/. [Accessed 5 May 2023]
University of Westminster (2023). Westminster Green Fund’s winning projects announced for the 2022-23 academic year. [online] Westminster. Available at: https://www.westminster.ac.uk/news/westminster-green-funds-winning-projects-announced-for-the-2022-23-academic-year. [Accessed 5 May 2023]
Whitley, C.T., Takahashi, B., Zwickle, A., Besley, J.C. and Lertpratchya, A.P., 2018. Sustainability behaviours among college students: An application of the V.B.N. theory. Environmental Education Research, 24(2), pp.245-262. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/13504622.2016.1250151. [Accessed 5 May 2023]