By Rona Ortiz |Staff Writer|
The debate over global warming and climate change is experiencing a cooling trend among college students and Americans overall.
In fact, Americans ranked the issue of global warming last on a list of environmental concerns in a March poll, according to Gallup.
The jury is still out. While the scientists are busy creating new computer models to predict the earth’s demise, we can all go back to polluting the earth right? Wrong.
We are still responsible for maintaining a healthy planet. Sixty percent of 18 to 29 year olds say environmental protection should be a priority, according to Gallup.
College students are likely to get on board when they know how environmental issues affect them.
Here are some interesting facts. Every day in the U.S., we produce enough trash to equal the weight of the Empire State Building.
Recycling one ton of paper saves 17 trees, two barrels of oil, and 4,100 kilowatts of energy, 3.2 cubic yards of landfill space and 60 pounds of air pollution, according to webecoist.
Americans make up an estimated five percent of the world’s population. However, the U.S. produces an estimated 30 percent of the world’s waste and uses 25 percent of the world’s resources.
Over 75 percent of waste is recyclable, but we only recycle about 30 percent of it. Small changes can have a positive impact on our environment.
For example students can rent digital textbooks. This will save students 40-60 percent compared to printed texts; it also saves trees.
Recycle glass. Many students drink their beer out of glass bottles, and glass can take a million years to decompose.
Take a shorter shower. Every 2 minutes you save can conserve more than 10 gallons of water. Turn off computers and unplug your chargers. They continue to use energy, even when not in use.
Invest in a reusable coffee cup. Starbucks sells one for a dollar, and you get a ten cent discount every time you fill up.
So you may be saying to yourself, I already do most of these things and I’m ready to take it to the next level. The following suggestions are not for the faint of heart.
You can become a Freegan. This is a person who lives an anti-consumerist lifestyle that often salvages through discarded (but unspoiled) food from supermarket dumpsters.
Many students live on campus. This can make it impossible to grow your own vegetables.
You might consider Guerilla Gardening. This is the practice of cultivating plants and foliage on someone else’s land, usually without permission. Eat more slow food. This involves eating locally grown food and ditching fast food some days.
CSUSB hosts the Coyote Produce Stand every Thursday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. where students can get fresh produce.
Try hypermiling. This is the practice of maximizing mileage during driving. Less speeding and using cruise control are ways to increase gas efficiency. These tips and more can be found at livescience.com.
We are all responsible.
And in the words of Theodore Roosevelt, “But there must be the look ahead, there must be a realization of the fact that to waste, to destroy, our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified and developed.”