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Students should be more eco-friendly

By Alex Estes
On September 21, 2016

   While the Disney-Pixar movie, Wall-e, seems like a cutesy fantasy, its story is not a far stretch from reality. In the movie, humans have had to evacuate the planet due to mass pollution, making Earth uninhabitable. 

First world countries are the worst when it comes to pollution and plastic waste. Plastic is used on a daily basis in the form of water and pop bottles, take out boxes, and grocery bags are often discarded just as frequently as they are bought.  

According to postconsumers.com, these plastics can take anywhere from 450 to 1000 years to actually degrade and will most certainly outlive the average college student. This litter takes so long to decompose it will end up sitting in a landfill for the next half a millennium or get washed out to sea to become part of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. 

The patch consists of micro plastics, garbage and chemical waste that, according to the National Geographic Society, stretches from the American west cost to the Northern tip of Japan. In short: Plastic is very bad for the environment; however it’s actually very easy to reduce personal pollution. The best way to reduce waste is by not creating it in the first place. 

Going to the grocery store is a weekly occurrence for most people and while this may be the most obvious way to reduce plastic pollution, using reusable grocery bags greatly reduces the amount of plastic being wasted. Additionally, instead of buying a frozen bag of carrots, which is already wrapped in plastic, opt for fresh carrots from the produce section. Not only can this be a cheaper alternative to prepackaged frozen food, it’s a lot better for the environment. 

While water and soda bottles are extremely convenient for the everyday college student, they rarely get properly recycled. Instead of buying a disposable plastic water bottle every day, carrying a reusable water bottle and refilling it could be an alternative option. If using a plastic water bottle is completely unavoidable, use it more than one time, instead of discarding it once it’s empty. 

Most college students love their coffee and most coffee shops sell reusable cups and thermoses. For those who visit coffee shops on a daily basis, investing in one of these can save hundreds of Caramel Macchiato coffee cups from sitting in a landfill for the next hundred years. 

Being rich and powerful is not necessary to help the environment. There is no excuse to constantly litter and throw harmful plastics carelessly into our environment. There are clearly many ways to reduce personal pollution, and everyone on Earth is accountable for the harm that is done to the planet on a daily basis. Be the change.

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