Student’s guide to going green

By Marlen Chinos

Global warming is an urgent problem facing our planet today. According to the Washington State Department of Ecology, these changes are occurring faster than any seen in the last 2,000 years. Climate patterns are important because they help shape our planet’s ecosystems.

With our day-to-day actions, we have the power to reduce the ongoing risks, or make them worse. The key is for us to reduce our carbon footprint, and luckily there are plenty of ways to do so. Contrary to popular belief, leading a sustainable life is a lot simpler than what it is made to be. Even the smallest change can have the ability to impact the big picture. Below are seven steps you can take to help the fight against climate change.

The first and most important step to start living sustainably is awareness. Not only being aware and keeping up with the latest news on the subject, but also being conscious of the everyday choices you make that help contribute to both increasing the risk and decreasing the risk of climate change. Once you know exactly where you stand in the matter, it is much easier to limit your bad habits and begin practicing habits that are more environmentally friendly.

We can only live without water for ten days. In a time where our water supply is constantly decreasing due to pollution and drought, it is crucial that we start making it a habit to conserve all the water we can. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to start conserving water now. Easy habits like reducing your shower time and not leaving the faucet running while brushing your teeth can prove to have a big impact. You can also take it a step further by purchasing water-efficient appliances.

Reducing the amount of waste you produce daily is an important part of any green lifestyle. You can begin to do so by implementing the three R’s in your life: reduce, reuse, and recycle. If you want to take it a step further you can begin to practice a zero-waste lifestyle where the entire waste you produce in a month fits perfectly inside a canning jar. Although this is a little more extreme than what we are used to, it is possible.

When commuting to campus, opt for your bike or public transportation rather than your car. You’ll be saving money while helping the environment. If going car-free is not an option for you then try carpooling with a friend and investing in a more fuel-efficient vehicle.

Make it a habit to buy organic and locally grown foods. Avoid processed items. Luckily at CPP we are surrounded with various resources, such as the CPP Farm Store, to begin implementing a more organic diet at affordable prices.

Today, hundreds and thousands of products bombard us daily. As consumers, it is important to know the products we purchase. Make it a habit to do a bit of background research on some of your favorite brands and products. You might be surprised on what you find. The key is to always keep in mind quality over quantity. What we choose to buy becomes what we choose to support.

Don’t wait until tomorrow when you can start now. Be a role model with your actions and talk about the choices you make. There are so many ways to get involved in and outside of campus.

The Department of Sustainability at CPP is currently working several projects to help bring awareness to sustainability.

Sustainable living has the power to better the well being of not only our health, but our environment as well. Over a period of time, small changes in your daily habits can have a surprisingly big impact. By taking action now, we can begin to create new habits molded to fit a more sustainable lifestyle.

To learn more about sustainability on campus, visit Sustainability @ CPP.

Global warming is an urgent problem facing our planet today

Valerie Mancia / The Poly Post

Global warming is an urgent problem facing our planet today

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