Nipissing University is so fortunate to be situated in a beautiful, natural landscape. This is one of the reasons I chose to attend Nipissing in the first place. I find getting out and enjoying nature to be very calming, especially during challenging times throughout the school year. Having a deep appreciation for the environment has opened my eyes to the need for us to preserve its natural beauty. Our generation is full of thinkers and doers who will one day run the world, if we don’t ruin it first. Being more environmentally friendly doesn’t have to involve major life changes. Keep reading to learn about some simple actions you can take to help save our planet.
Single-use plastic products such as straws, cutlery, and water bottles have a significant impact on our environment. Most of this plastic ends up in landfills where it can sit for more than a lifetime without breaking down. To reduce your disposable waste, keep reusable options on hand. Reusable water bottles and coffee mugs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and metal straws are easy to keep at home, in your car, and in your backpack.
Transportation of food and other goods is a huge contributor of greenhouse gases, and the farther they have to travel, the greater the costs to our environment. When possible, try to shop locally because this will reduce transportation pollution and help to support your local economy. The North Bay Farmers’ Market runs during the summer and winter and is a great place to pick up local products. If you don’t have the opportunity to shop locally for food, aim to purchase foods that are “in season” as these are often not transported as far (and they’re usually cheaper!).
Use Less Water
You may remember taking a drink from a fountain as a child and someone yelling, “Save some for the fishes!” Water is necessary to sustain life and is a scarce resource in many parts of the world. Decrease your water consumption by taking shorter showers, turning the tap off while brushing your teeth or washing your face, and only doing laundry when you have a full load.
Reuse, Recycle, and Rot
Before throwing out items you no longer need, consider whether they could be used for a different purpose. Upcycle That is a blog that features tutorials on how to make new products from your “junk”. If you’re looking to purchase a new item, such as a coffee table, consider repurposing old materials that would otherwise be thrown out.
By now, hopefully you understand the importance of recycling. However, recycling doesn’t just have to mean throwing that milk carton into the right bin. You can also recycle by taking clothing or household items you no longer use to a consignment store or donating them. This helps to keep perfectly reusable goods out of landfills.
You may have heard of the terms reduce, reuse, and recycle, but what about rot? Most of the food waste we throw out can be composted. If you don’t have a green bin program in your area, you can still compost at home. There are many different compost options, including those for outdoors and indoors. Check out this Beginner’s Guide to Composting for more information.
Follow the Nipissing University Environmental Group on Instagram for more information about environmental conservation and events that are taking place on campus and in our community.