As a college student in Utah, it’s easy to feel small in a world where so much news and information is being spread everywhere you look.
One major topic making headlines is climate change, and after talking to some students at Salt Lake Community College, it’s evident that many don’t know where to start when it comes to helping our earth, especially in a way that feels significant.
One person isn’t going to completely reverse the effects of climate change, but small efforts from more people can accumulate to create an even bigger impact.
Gracie Healy, an SLCC education student, says, “It’s easy to read about the intensity of the situation and feel like there’s nothing you can do, but I think once you start reading about ways to help, you’ll see that you can find ways to change various things in your life to help.”
Healy probably isn’t the only one who feels overwhelmed.
Completely cutting out single-use plastics just isn’t realistic for most people, especially college students. Buying organic milk and produce at the grocery stores is often more money than what students can afford.
So, what can they do?
Using public transit is one simple way that SLCC students can be a little more environmentally conscious.
“One of the things that I have been trying to do is take the bus and the train more often,” Healy says. “That’s one of those things that doesn’t cost any extra money and only requires a little bit more planning. Once you find the right route, though, it’s easy to incorporate.”
SLCC students get to ride all Utah Transit Authority trains and buses for free with their OneCard. UTA has lines that run from North Ogden to Santaquin, and buses that stop at every SLCC campus.
SLCC has already made institutional changes to reduce its carbon footprint. LED lights are used in all interior and exterior lamps. The school also uses low flow faucet aerators to conserve water.
By taking steps as a college to help the environment, SLCC is setting an example for its students to do the same.
Students may not even think about it, but they are saving paper by utilizing Canvas or online textbooks. And by bringing a reusable water bottle to school, students can limit their plastic consumption.
By using the recycling bins on campus, students can do even more to reduce waste. Learn more about how to reduce your carbon footprint in this blog post by the Earth Institute at Columbia University.