“Our house is on fire,” and I am petrified. Sustainability is something that has recently become really important to me due to the impending threat of the climate crisis we are facing. According to NASA, global temperature has risen 1.9 degrees Fahrenheit since the 1880s. This increase is causing natural disasters, extreme weather conditions, and rising sea levels. Because of this, I try to do everything I can to reduce my ecological footprint. Below are five simple ways you can live a little more sustainably on campus.
Say Goodbye to Single-Use Plastic
Opt for reusable water bottles or coffee cups rather than single-use ones. Temple has water stations in all of its buildings you can use to fill up your bottle to stay hydrated all day long. If you are an avid coffee drinker, bring a reusable cup to your cafe of choice. The Saxby’s and Starbucks on campus offer discounts if you bring a reusable cup!
Decrease Meat Consumption
Listen, I love a chicken nugget as much as the next girl but cutting down on meat consumption can make a huge difference when it comes to our ecosystem. According to Medium.com, if everyone in the United States ate meatless one day a week we would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1.2 million tons of carbon dioxide. Going meatless once a week has also been shown to help prevent cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Saving the planet and getting healthy? That’s like killing two birds with one stone, or feeding two birds with one scone, to keep with our sustainability theme. (thx Peta)!
Unplug Unused Electronics in Your Home
Unplugging electronics, kitchen appliances, and string lights when not in use is a small way to save energy in your home. Make sure to turn your heat/AC down when you leave, too! This is also a great money-saving tip for those who live off-campus. By unplugging electronics and turning down the AC your utility bills will decrease.
Recycle … obviously
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle has been imprinted into my brain since I was ten years old obsessively watching Disney Channel’s Friends For Change campaign. Recycling is extremely easy, especially on Temple’s campus. We’re lucky enough to have different bins for landfill waste, plastic recycling and paper recycling in all buildings, so read carefully!
Reading articles, watching documentaries and talking to climate enthusiasts have opened my eyes to new ways of living more sustainably. Temple also offers a couple of different classes you can take to fulfill your Science & Technology GenEd about the climate crisis and how to decrease your ecological footprint! Enroll in a class, read some articles and learn all about how to live a more sustainable life.