A recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change indicates that society has fewer opportunities remaining to avoid damage to the climate.
The report stated that due to human activities, global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate.
“Learn how to recycle and compost in San Francisco. It’s easy, and you just have to learn it once,” said Nick Kordesch, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green associate sustainability specialist. “Today’s students are going to be leaders very soon, and they will be dealing with the effects of climate change.”
Reports from the Intergovernmental Panel stated that land and ocean ecosystems have changed due to global warming. By 2100, the sea level will rise and continue to rise afterwards due to emission pathways.
Reduce, reuse and recycle is a mantra every student knows and should follow. Simple changes to reduce and reuse can include using a portable water bottle instead of a plastic bottle or using reusable grocery bags.
According to accredited schools online, the average college student produces 640 pounds of solid waste each year, which includes 500 disposable cups and 320 pounds of paper.
“I eliminate my plastic usage by not buying plastic water bottles,” said SF State student Begüm Sakin.
Reducing pollution, conserving energy and resources, reducing waste and protecting earth’s ecological balance are five ways to go green.
“Sometimes all it takes is one attempt at bike commuting, carpooling or taking transit to figure out that you can lower your carbon footprint and find a way to avoid the stress and cost of driving,” Kordesch said.
A way to reduce pollution is to be aware of what’s in one’s household products, like shampoo and cleaning detergents, because chemicals are washed down the pipes into drains, reservoirs and the ocean.
Switching to natural cleaners or organic products can reduce the amount of chemicals being released into the environment.
Living sustainability can include not eating meat one day per week. The recent trend of “meatless Monday” is a global campaign that is bringing awareness to society about the positive effects of this movement.
This campaign was founded in 2003 by Sid Lerner and is a meat-reduction strategy that is active in more than 40 countries.
According to FoodPrint, meat production has a huge environmental footprint because it uses large amounts of resources, such as energy, water and land.
“More stuff doesn’t make people happier, so our generation and future generations will benefit by us learning to consume less and live sustainably as soon as possible,” said Melissa Maigler, student representative of the sustainability committee.
SF State is a sustainable campus and plans to have zero waste by 2020. The campus has compost, recycling and garbage bins around campus and offers sustainability maps to help students locate water stations, E Waste sites, Goodwill bins, bike routes and racks.
“We only have one planet, and the volume of consumption by each individual is growing each year,” said Maigler. “Raise awareness among the community about the relative environmental impact of different everyday activities, such as choice of commute, heating, travel, clothing, electronics and food.”