Campus Sustainability: How to Be Green in College
Campus sustainability is an opportunity for college students to practice being better stewards of the earth God created. According to a recent study, 97 percent of upcoming college students are deeply committed to caring for their world and want to support campus sustainability efforts as much as possible.
Here are several ways Azusa Pacific University students can work together to do their part in protecting the planet and the people on it.
Pledge to Reduce Your Energy Consumption
Little actions, such as turning off lights or appliances when they're not being used, can add up to a lot of energy saved without drastically changing your lifestyle. Here are some easy ways to save energy:
- Study by an open window or outside in the beautiful sunshine rather than using indoor lights.
- Combine your errands so you can save time and gas.
- In cold weather, reach for a blanket or cozy socks before turning up the thermostat.
- In warm weather, drink a large glass of ice water before turning the air conditioning up.
- Sign up for online bill payments and deposits to reduce paper waste.
- Take the APU Creation Care Pledge today and receive more ideas on how to live green.
Buy Used to Save Money and the Planet
Each season new housewares, fashions, and gadgets hit the aisles, and it’s tempting to upgrade accordingly. However, doing so can severely impact the planet. In fact, the fashion industry alone accounts for about 8 to 10 percent of global carbon emissions and nearly 20 percent of wastewater. About 9 million tons of furniture end up in landfills worldwide each year.
Shopping used means you can find items in good to like-new condition for less, and you save products from ending up in landfills. Buying secondhand doesn’t always mean shopping at a dusty thrift store either. You can find items at yard sales, through Facebook Marketplace, and through online secondhand retailers like eBay and OfferUp.
You can save even more by borrowing items from friends or family. Hosting a birthday party? Instead of running to the store for supplies, see if you can borrow the materials you need from friends and family. This may also work if you need a suit or dress for a fancy event. Check to see if you can borrow one first to save money and the planet.
Cut Down on Single-Use Plastic and Paper
Reusable items cost more upfront, but they can save a lot of plastic and paper in the long run. Here are some simple ways to reduce your footprint with reusables:
- Take your own cup to the coffee shop.
- Use reusable straws or drink without one.
- Bring a reusable water bottle wherever you go to cut down on single use plastic bottles.
- Bag groceries and other shopping in reusable totes to reduce plastic and paper waste.
- Buy groceries in bulk and split with friends.
- Use real plates and utensils instead of paper and plastic; doing the dishes is worth it when it comes to cutting down on waste.
APU’s Pledge to Environmental Stewardship
The Environmental Stewardship office at APU helps the school achieve its sustainability goals. Its mission is “to honor God by developing programs that promote conservation, recycling, and sustainability, and to provide efficient utility systems without compromising the needs of future generations.” It seeks to accomplish this goal by managing utilities, overseeing recycling efforts on campus, and encouraging community involvement.
Alongside the recycling centers on campus for your old papers, cardboard, glass, and cans, APU also uses recycled paper in all restrooms and biodegradable cleansers. Plus, electric vehicles are used for campus safety and on-campus duties. These are just some of the ways APU seeks to embrace the words of Psalm 24:1: “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.”
To learn more about how you can contribute to APU’s sustainability goals, contact the Environmental Stewardship office.
Posted: July 22, 2022