Environmental Conservation in College

By Fallon Bursey

Environmental conservation doesn’t have to be on an industrial level. In fact, conserving our resources could be better managed at home. Many people admit there is a lack of environmental care; however not many are up for actually engaging change. You don’t have to completely change your daily life to make an impact in a simple manner.

Stores are drifting more and more away from plastic bags. For example, at a dollar store in Roanoke, they are placing a small ‘fee’ per plastic bag you use. This is becoming more and more so, with more urbanly-located stores implementing a more heavy fee per bag. This is all in hopes to prompt consumers to buying a reusable bag and tagging it along for their shopping trips. The small fee at some of our local stores may not be enough to deter us from using them, but it is a start of a revolution into better care for nature. Some stores, such as Target, offer a discount for using a reusable bag for your shopping trip.

Plastic bags are often reused in homes, but after a few uses they either tear or they consumer is throwing them away. These bags can end up anywhere, due to the lightweightedness of the bag. They can drift off from landfills and end up in countless areas such as the ocean, rivers, creeks, yards, and more. These bags, while relatively harmless to us, are a big threat to animals. They can be mistaken for food or animals could get trapped in them, causing them to suffocate.

Reusable bags have more than just one purpose, too. People often find themselves using them on trips, going to the beach, or moving. Many may find themselves struggling to remember them before leaving the house or being in situations where they don’t have their bag on hand. An easy solution would be to keep some in your car.

Another way to ease up on the environment would be to print less. As we have moved more away from paper mail towards electronic mail and paperless documentations, we are helping the environment. Most excessive printing occurs in offices and schools. Teachers often print out long class works and give a copy to each student, usually failing to print on both sides of the pages as well. There are millions of schools across the United States, and even more in the world. That’s a great abundance of students to each have a 20 page copy of a story each. Teachers often assign long essays in a hard copy format, too. While they may be unbudging to allow an electronic copy to be submitted, it never hurts to ask. Maybe they will at least let you print on both sides if you explain your cause.

Recycling is also a beneficial way to preserve natural resources. There are centrally  located recycling centers across towns and cities for easy access. If there is not a recycling center near you and you want one, many trash services also offer a recycling service. You could call the company and see if you can get a center started for your community. We are going off to college soon as well. If there is no recycling availability you should contact your RA to see if it can get started. Also take the time to locate recycling bins around campus so you won’t be throwing away recyclables into the trash bin.

Another easy way to conserve is buying a reusable bottle and food containers. If you buy water at the store, try buying it in a large gallon to save plastic from the bottles and wrapping. Alternatively, you could purchase a filter if your tap water is the issue at hand. If you buy sodas, try buying it bulk, or a larger container to save on plastic, too. Bulk is often cheaper, if your worried over your budget. If you’re using a non-reusable bottle, reuse it! Fill it back up with fountains before tossing it aside and breaking open a new one. Coffee shops usually have a discount if you bring in your reusable cup as well, such as Starbucks.

Don’t throw away your old class notes, either. You can either recycle them or donate them. Teachers may want your notes for future use if you took great notes. There are also resources for students who recycle the notes for future student’s use. Some organizations even buy old notes from a course. If you took neat and detailed notes, they could be reused by another student through several ways.