Letter to the Editor: Minimalism

Abby Hendershot

Dear Editor,

FGCU preaches its use of sustainable principles when promoting the campus and university but tends to sweep the issue of excessive waste under the rug. There is a difference between what the university can control in terms of sustainability and what is left up to the students, but the university can facilitate help in this issue. 

Nearly 16,000 students attend the university, and close to 5,000 of those students live on campus. The students that live here take up space and create waste – sometimes too much waste. There are times when I have gone to the garbage rooms and compactors, and they have been overflowing with trash. College living is hard, and for most of us, it’s the first time we have lived on our own. Knowing what to buy and how much to buy can sometimes be a struggle. This is a learning curve for many people, especially with buying groceries and going on shopping sprees. 

A great addition to the university curriculum or housing communications would be on grocery shopping. When I am at the grocery store or out shopping, I am guilty of buying things I think I need or that I would maybe use. Cutting back on spending money on these items and only buying what I need will help me save money and help reduce the amount of food waste I have. I love the freedom of being able to go to the grocery store and pick out whatever I want to eat, but I hate the feeling of when I must throw out the food that went. Additionally, using more reusable containers and using reusable bags can cut down on single-use plastic waste. Minimalism in this sense will help reduce the waste that builds up in the garbage disposal areas. 

Many students are not prepared for living on their own as adults and need a little help to live in a sustainable (and sometimes cheaper) way. To help aid students, there should be added curriculum to students’ classes that cover the topics of minimalism and how that can be applied in a college setting. Depending on the impact of this topic in the class, it could become a special topics class that goes more in-depth on other ways to apply minimalism. More awareness and tools of this issue can truly help FGCU become more sustainable with the help of everyone who lives here.

Thank you,

Abby Hendershot