Opinion: Students Can Save The Planet

Everything students can do to reduce their footprint on the Earth

Land+has+to+be+cleared+for+animals+to+feed+on.+Last+year%2C+the+plaent+lost+almost+2+million+hectares%0Aof+forest.

Photo by Picography from Pixabay

Land has to be cleared for animals to feed on. Last year, the plaent lost almost 2 million hectares of forest.

According to the United Nations, there are only 10 years left until the Earth faces irreversible damage from global warming. 

Because of the unsustainable nature of our global warming problem, I wanted to take a moment to provide our readers with ways they can help reduce their carbon footprint and protect our home.

One way you can help is by powering your home and vehicles with electricity instead of fossil fuels. Investing in renewable energy sources such as solar panels is a great way to reduce our use of fossil fuels being. 

This option is not viable for all people, so let me give you some more achievable tips. 

Stop buying as much meat, especially beef. Now, I’m not telling you to become vegetarian or vegan, but the production of meat is a huge issue when it comes to global warming. 

According to Clean Water Action, there are three big environmental issues with raising livestock. Those issues are feed sourcing, manure processing and transportation.  

It takes immense amounts of feed to raise and produce meat. This means that millions of acres of land are being plowed over for the animals to graze on. Native species are being killed off to make room for livestock, and this must be stopped, or at least reduced. 

Animals, notably cows, produce methane gas while they digest food. As manure decomposes, it releases more methane along with carbon dioxide and ammonia. Each of these gases is classified as a greenhouse gas. 

Finally, the livestock has to be taken from point A to point B, and this just releases more carbon emissions. To prevent this, you can reduce the amount of meat you eat, but it is understandable if that is not an option for you. Instead, you can support movements that demand the companies to change to sustainable feed sourcing, better manure management and greenhouse gas reductions. You can also make sure the meat you are buying is coming from a sustainable source. 

You have probably heard people say “reduce, reuse, recycle” many times in your life. Most people skip the reduce and reuse steps and only recycle, which actually doesn’t benefit the environment that much. 

By reducing the amount of plastic you use, it can make a big difference if everyone does it. Instead of buying plastic water bottles, get a reusable water bottle. Be mindful of when you buy groceries and other things how much plastic you are purchasing. 

Many items have a one-time use that we can switch to reusable products. Some of them are rags instead of paper towels, reusable cotton pads, reusable shampoo/conditioner bottles, reusable and refillable deodorant, bamboo toothbrushes instead of plastic ones and many many more. 

Another great way to benefit the environment is to grow your own food. Having even just a few of your own homegrown vegetables or herbs can drastically reduce the amount of plastic and fossil fuels that it takes to produce and transport food items. 

If you don’t have space or time to grow your own food, then at least try to compost the food you don’t eat. 

According to the University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, composting is great for the environment in many different ways. It saves water by helping the soil hold moisture and reduce water run-off, it recycles organic resources, conserves landfill space and it reduces the need for commercial soil and fertilizer. 

To be environmentally friendly, you need to be conscious of where you are buying clothes and other things online. Unsustainable companies market cheap products so more people buy them. According to the World Bank, fast fashion is responsible for 10% of the world’s carbon emissions. 

Fast fashion also uses obscene amounts of water to produce all of their clothing. They use 93 billion cubic meters of water each year. This is enough water to supply over five million people. 

If that didn’t concern you enough to stop buying from fast fashion industries, there is also the fact that half a million tons of plastic microfibers are dumped into the ocean every year. This is equivalent to 50 billion plastic bottles. Plastic microfibers can be more damaging than whole pieces of plastic because they are nearly impossible to extract from the ocean. 

Humans are the reason that this planet is dying, so we must be the ones to fix it. There are thousands of other things that contribute to climate change, and we can’t fix them all overnight, but it is important to do your part to keep the environment healthy. Below are some sustainable home goods and fashion stores to help you get started on your switch to a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

Home stores: 

EcoRoots

EarthHero

Made Trade

Ten Thousand Villages

Verishop

Accompany

 

Clothing/beauty stores:

Ocelot Market

Etsy

Good Apparel

Etee

A Drop in the Ocean