Be aware of sustainability efforts in your community!
Whether your campus is located in the heart of a city or in a rural setting, there are likely sustainability efforts going on within your community. In Pittsburgh, Sustainable Pittsburgh champions sustainable solutions for businesses, organizations, and people within our tight-knit community. Sustainable Pittsburgh seeks to reduce operating costs through efficiency increases like energy, water, manufacturing, and other systems and increase responsiveness to the people of Pittsburgh’s demands for socially conscious products and practices. Reach out to initiatives taking place within your own community to see how you can get involved or bring it to your campus. Attend meetings that are open to the community to use your voice and speak out about what matters to you.
Put it to practice!
If getting involved with campus organizations and community initiatives like that of the Student Office of Sustainability or Sustainable Pittsburgh is not quite your style, there still are countless simple ways in which you can contribute to the well-being of our planet. Be conscious of how much waste you create, including food waste, and utilize recycling facilities whenever you can. Try using a reusable water bottle rather than purchasing plastic water bottles. On my campus, using a reusable coffee cup instead of wasteful plastic ones can even save you money at campus coffee shops and Starbucks. One of my favorite ways to engage in a sustainable activity is by biking to class and around the city on Healthy Ride Pittsburgh bikes rather than driving.
Regardless as to how you choose to engage in sustainable practices on campus and within your community, remember that all change, no matter how small it may seem, has the potential to make a big impact on those around you and on our planet. As Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu once said, “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” Let’s overwhelm the world this Earth Day and every day with sustainable practices that will contribute to the well-being of our planet and to everyone who calls it home for generations to come.