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A sustainable effort

For quite some time, this generation (Millennials and the up and coming) have been hearing about the impact of fossil fuels.

They are continuously taught about clean energy options such as geothermal and solar; they have grown up surrounded by what-if scenarios and movie plots theorizing the horrendous outcomes of Mother Nature reclaiming the planet that humans are hurting. They are bombarded by news advising ways to reduce the use of harmful chemicals and wastes in order to help diminish the adverse effects of Earth’s environmental changes.

Despite all of this, not many solutions beyond the reiteration  of “reduce, reuse, recycle” have been put into action by those impacting the majority of the effects in order to avoid the predicted disasters. And while that phrase is well-known, the problem is that the majority of people do not know of their options or are convinced that there is nothing more to be done.

The main aspect is, even little progress is better than none.

Luckily, there are several actions college students can do to contribute, some that are specific to FGCU campus.

The first step is to be aware of the problem; many in this country seem to ignore the problem entirely, so to have it in mind is the first step towards progress.

The university’s colloquium class is an excellent opportunity to help raise awareness. It teaches students about the relationship between nature and humans and how human activity—more often than not—negatively impacts nature’s natural balance. The course also aims towards informing students with how to be economically sustainable. Colloquium is mandatory for graduation at FGCU.

To aid with sustainability, there are recycling cans dispersed throughout the FGCU’s campus. Students are instructed that recyclable items: are cardboard and paper products, aluminum and metal products, glass and plastic; plastic bags and electronics only at specific locations such as Target and Best Buy.

Alternatives to sustainability are to use the shuttle buses that drive to campus and student housing. If living in North Lake, walking to campus has several benefits itself. But, if students’ living location doesn’t provide shuttle service, carpooling is another way to contribute.

Living on the low college budget, options such as thrift shopping or buying secondhand, locally and reselling clothes while sticking to the “reduce, reuse, recycle” phrase for eating utensils and dishes does saves and help towards being sustainable. Trading containers like tumblers, Tupperware and regular dishes instead of Styrofoam and other disposable items are both beneficial for sustainability as well as your pockets.

If space and resources are available, growing your food—such as small fruits and vegetables or even herbs or edible plants—is another way to be sustainable.

Other easy ways are also readily available for use: taking reusable shopping bags with to checkout at grocery stores is a great way. Looking up do-it-yourself activities to transform empty containers or different objects lying around to put to good use can also help one learn a skill. Participating in holidays and special events at FGCU is always a good way to be sustainable—or a way to knock out some service learning hours, volunteering at FGCU’s Food Forest helping there. Even the advice heard since you were young about unplugging devices while not in use goes an incredibly long way.

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