"Going green.” “Eco-friendly.” These terms and ones like it are everywhere in the news. But why? With issues such as global warming and the economic recession consuming the world while our resources are being depleted, a concern for the environment has developed, and the idea of sustainability was born. With sustainability, we focus on the world and how we can minimize wasted energy and material, which not only keeps Earth in shape, but can end up saving people money. For example, remember learning the 3 R’s? Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle – all of these actions reflect the idea of sustainability.
“But… why should I care?” you may be wondering. Well, sustainability is a huge issue. Many of the things we own end up in the trash and eventually into landfills. Some resources we rely on, such as petroleum, are eventually going to run out, yet are being used more and more. Often unnecessary energy and resources are wasted, such as electricity and water. Sometimes we leave chargers plugged in or take lengthy showers. Not only is it costly, but situations such as these also harm the planet. Big changes need to be made soon in order to keep the world in shape for not just us, but future generations.
The world is taking some big steps and getting creative to help tackle some of these problems. Many cars now considered “hybrids,” meaning they run on both gas and electric, to reduce pollution and minimize petroleum usage. Some car companies have even developed a vehicle that runs entirely on electricity. Another major development is the solar panel. Many homes and businesses have solar panels installed on rooftops. These absorb the sun’s rays and convert them into useable energy.
Even though these are both sustainable solutions, they can be a little pricey, especially for the college student! But you don’t have to drive a Prius to help make the world a better place! Many simple things can be done to improve the condition of the earth. Replace your incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent bulbs or LEDs. Don’t keep the water running when you’re brushing your teeth. And whenever you can, RECYCLE! Recycle those notebooks at the end of a semester and don’t just throw away your soda cans. Nowadays many places offer both trashcans and recycling bins.
See? Caring for the environment and having a sustainable lifestyle is easy. These actions may seem small, but if everyone does them, the results are huge – and the earth and future generations will thank you!