There’s a lot of talk about ecology these days—but what can you do about it? In the past, ecology was mostly thought of as something abstract, but now it also refers to our direct relationship with the environment.
But how can student governments influence ecology on campus? Here are just some of the possible ways we’ll discuss:
- Incorporate ecology into school policies.
- Create or encourage the use of recycling bins.
- Encourage paperless communication through email and other media.
- Promote eco-friendly transportation options.
- Establish an organic garden on campus.
Trying to influence how your school approaches ecology as a whole can be difficult. Universities are large institutions that are hard to change – but there are ways for you to get involved in the decision-making process and make a difference.
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Now, student government representatives attend meetings with the administration and other important people at school in order to improve the community and make changes where needed. These meetings are an excellent opportunity for you to communicate your views and make your voice heard by the people who have the power to make changes!
Let’s get into five major ways in which you as a student can influence ecology on your campus.
Incorporate Ecology into School Policies
You have a few options for making changes:
Evaluate existing programs and services your school already offers and see if any changes are needed. For example, your school may offer free recycling bins in the dorms but few people use them because they don’t have convenient access to trash cans for sorting recyclable waste.
Encourage new programs and services within your institution. Student government associations often have an advisory role and can recommend new programs that the school should implement.
Create a policy change or campaign that will influence how your institution operates. This is usually done through legislation or regulation by your student government association.
Create or Encourage the Use of Recycling Bins
When student governments or groups are in charge of planning events on campus, they can encourage the use of recycling bins by making them available during the event. By placing these bins strategically, such as near the food tables, people will be more likely to throw their recyclable items away in the proper place.
Treat all recycling bins with respect. Do not litter, throw trash in them, or use them as trash cans instead of recycling bins. If the bins are used properly, they will become useful to everyone.
Encourage Paperless Communication Through Email and Other Media
Encourage paperless communication. Send emails and other electronic communications in place of printed documents. This is a great way to cut down on paper usage without having to worry about recycling and other waste management issues.
Take part in green initiatives on campus. Search through your school’s recycling program and see if any initiatives apply to you. If you don’t see anything appropriate, consider arranging green initiatives with your friends or classmates.
Work with your student government to help create new initiatives that encourage positive environmental habits among students. For instance, if a lot of people are using plastic water bottles, propose the idea of implementing water bottle filling stations around campus.
Promote Eco-friendly Transportation Options
One of the most important ways to become a more sustainable campus is to promote eco-friendly transportation options by providing students with incentives for using them. A college campus is a microcosm of society, and students usually develop lifelong habits that shape their future and impact the health of our environment.
If we can provide incentives for healthier lifestyles by promoting environmentally friendly transportation options, we can create a better future for everyone.
If you are looking for a way to reduce your carbon footprint, or if you want to encourage others to do the same, there are a few things you can do.
Taxis and ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft are convenient, quick, and relatively inexpensive. However, they are not the most eco-friendly ways to get around campus. If you live on campus, bus travel is an excellent way to reduce your carbon dioxide emissions. For a small fee, you can connect with other students who have similar class schedules.
If you live off-campus, biking to class is not only a good way to get exercise, but it’s also environmentally friendly. You will be contributing much less carbon dioxide into the environment than if you drove your vehicle to campus. Instead of paying for parking every day, consider leaving your car at home one day per week. In addition to being good for the environment, this will save you money on gas and parking tickets.
Establish an Organic Garden on Campus
If your university offers organic gardening classes, sign up for one. This is a great way to learn about organic gardening techniques and how to make them work on a small scale. If not, you can find plenty of information online that will help you get started.
If the administration won’t listen to you, get active in an existing organization on campus. Your school probably has an environmental club or an organic garden association. These groups have been formed primarily by students who want to change things for the better. You may be able to help them lobby for changes and set up an organic garden where you live or near campus.
We hope that this article provided you with some insight into the growing trend of eco-friendly colleges. While the practices and policies mentioned here are certainly not comprehensive, they can serve as a jumping-off point for any school looking to delve into green initiatives!
Taking steps to make your campus more environmentally friendly can have a positive impact on many different levels, from the health and well-being of students and faculty to the sustainability of your school’s budget.
The first step towards an eco-friendly school is simply to recognize where you can make improvements. Use the suggestions presented here as a starting point for your own research, and feel free to create communities, meet new people, and change the world – one bit at a time.