Do your part to celebrate Earth Day at the U of A
Climate change may seem like an insurmountable challenge, but you can take action in your daily routine to have a positive impact.
“But I’m just one person,” said 7.9 billion people. Incorporating just one little habit into your daily routine can make a difference. Check out these suggestions from the Office of Sustainability to see what you can do to make your daily life more environmentally friendly.
Live simply: The more you know, the less you need. Every product has an environmental footprint. The best way to reduce these negative externalities is to stop the waste before it starts by prioritizing relationships and experiences over material possessions.
Reduce: Avoid unnecessary waste. It’s easy and enjoyable to carry a reusable water bottle, use digital documents, and refuse excessive packaging. None of these efforts need be awkward, but can make a real difference.
Pick up the rubbish: Unfortunately, the campus has waste disposal bins on a daily basis. Help out by picking up some trash on your campus walk. It doesn’t take a lot of extra time or effort. If we all do a little, the campus could be pristine.
Think beyond the car: Choosing to go car-free will allow you to keep money in your pocket, reduce traffic and parking headaches, and stay healthier without a gym membership. The Office for Sustainability has a commuter menu program that will present your options.
Help others: Volunteering fosters empathy and understanding. There are countless great organizations on campus that are looking for helpful volunteers to help with social and environmental challenges. Help out at uark.givepulse.com.
Be frugal: Thrift stores are a great way to save money and drastically reduce the environmental footprint of the textile industry (the second biggest polluter in the world). Purchases and donations to thrift stores can give consumer goods a second or third life.
Vote with your dollar: Every purchase you make is an opportunity to vote for the world you want to live in. Voting in November is just as important, but your dollars spent daily are a chance to support local businesses, considerate people, and responsible technology.
Check your thermostat: On campus, heating and cooling our spaces consumes the most energy of any category. It shouldn’t be uncomfortable. Lowering the intensity on nights, weekends and holidays has a measurable impact on both campus consumption and your home electricity bill.
Eating lower on the food chain: Plant-based diets tend to have a lower environmental footprint and may be healthier. You don’t have to be completely vegetarian or vegan to get these benefits. Just consider skipping meat once in a while or using it more as a side dish rather than the main event. Chartwells has this great restaurant guide to help you.
Clean your plate: Food waste is a serious problem in several respects. In dining rooms, start with small portions and scale back for seconds or thirds if desired. Be respectful. Considerable effort has gone into producing these foods and bringing them to your plate.
If you would like to learn more about what the U of A campus is doing on environmental sustainability, please see the most recent U of A Sustainability Report.
About the Office for Sustainability: The mission of the Office for Sustainability at the University of Arkansas is to motivate, facilitateand to coordinate responsible practices through partnerships with students, faculty, and staff in all campus departments. The Office for Sustainability uses the campus as a living laboratory overseeing the implementation of the University of Arkansas’ environmental goals. These programs are part of the U of A’s Resilience Center, hosted by the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design, and supported by UA Facilities Management.