These days it is disturbingly common to see headlines like “More Plastic Than Fish by 2050” or “Climate Change Raises a Troubling Question: Who Gets to Eat?”. Weather is abnormal and cars and other vehicles are emitting more emissions than ever into the air. The Earth is our one finite home, with a limited amount of resources. That may not seem like an issue to you right now, but with more questions being raised every day, it is time for us to start paying close attention! We must take action in our lives in order to conserve the common resources we all rely on.
The University of Louisville has is actively creating a new culture founded on sustainable actions. Around campus, you’ll find single-stream recycling bins for common items like paper, plastic, cardboard, metal, and glass, as well as less common items like batteries, light bulbs, and electronic waste. Refillable water stations are in nearly every building to help generate less bottle waste. On any given day, you can see students, faculty, or staff riding bikes across campus. Commuters hop on and off TARC buses all day long. Our dining facilities provide 30% local food. However, these things only scratch the surface.
The Student Recreation Center has solar panels on the roof providing guilt-free hot showers and 180 geothermal wells heating and cooling the building. Beneath the lawn at Ekstrom Library and the Grawemeyer oval lies a massive stormwater infiltration system that keeps all of the rain water from the surrounding rooftops and parking lots out of our city’s overburdened combined sewer system. At the Garden Commons by the Cultural Center, students grow organic food on rich soil fertilized by the compost volunteers make each Sunday at noon at UofL’s Community Composting site just north of Cardinal Blvd on Bloom St. between Brook & Floyd. The list is endless and Mother Nature needs you to take part in cultivating a more sustainable campus.
You don’t have to be an expert in sustainability in order to incorporate such actions into your daily activities. All you need to do is care. It is important to nurture the Earth we share and living more sustainably is all about doing that while paying attention to the social, environmental, and economic impact of our daily choices. In order to sustain ourselves with the things we rely on every day – clean water, air, soil, food and energy – it is vital that we all take an active role in conservation.
Take a moment to reflect on the things you love and use everyday. Then take one small step every day to ensure that they’ll be there for all of us tomorrow.
Be mindful about your use of resources – don’t waste electricity, food, water, or materials that add up to a big impact like paper, plastic, glass, cardboard, and metal. Take reusable bags, mugs, bottles, and utensils with you instead of generating more trash every day. Liberate yourself from the polluting, destructive, unhealthy car culture! Ride your bike, carpool or jump on the bus to get to work, school, or anywhere. Participate in meatless Mondays. Find something that works for you.
Being sustainable doesn’t have to be complicated. Will you commit to creating a sustainable campus? Check out our green tips here and take action today: http://louisville.edu/sustainability/sustainability-home-page/green-tips.html.
Comment below with what green action you’ve been doing lately and what you will commit to trying tomorrow!