Campus

What YOU, an Exonian, Can Do to Be More Sustainable


November 27, 2016

“If someone is able to show me that what I think or do is not right, I will happily change, for I seek the truth, by which no one was ever truly harmed. It is the person who continues in his self-deception and ignorance who is harmed.”

        -Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

SAVE TREES

  1. Try not to use paper towels after washing your hands. Exeter throws out all those paper towels that could be composted! Instead, if you’re in your dorm, you can use your own personal towel that might as well be put to extra use. Or, you can air dry. As a person with long hair, I just shake most the water off, run my hands through my hair, and I am good to go. And, if you have to use a paper towel, then please only take ONE paper towel, rather than pulling 2 or 3 at a time when more than one is not needed.
  2. Print double sided.

SAVE WATER

  1. Be conscious of how long you are showering. On average, American showers use 2.1 gallons of water per minute. Our bodies don’t need a 30-minute constant stream of water. Ways to minimize your water usage include learning how to be more efficient and quick in the shower, and turning off the shower while you’re shampooing, conditioning, body washing, or shaving and don’t necessarily need running water. I’m not saying don’t enjoy your showers, but just be more aware of how long you are taking, and how much water you are in turn using.

SAVE ENERGY

  1. Make sure to turn off lights when you are not using them. I cannot tell you how many people in the dorm forget to turn off bathroom lights, even though it is such a simple, obvious task. Yes, some lights automatically switch off, but just turn the light off in the first place.
  2. As the winter months start approaching, try to not open your window while the heater is turned on. The open window sucks the heat outside and ends up using a lot more energy that simply becomes wasted.

WHEN IN D-HALL

  1. Take only how much you can eat. If you’re trying something new, take a little to try before putting more on your plate. This goes especially for foods that take a lot of resources to make, such as dairy products, and meats.
  2. Don’t be turned off by a food or drink just because it is a vegetarian/vegan option. Try the gardein chicken, or the tofu nuggets. Be open minded. Some people have a negative opinion of tofu, but it is actually quite delicious when cooked properly! Try a non-dairy milk option sometime! Maybe you’ll like it more than regular milk.
  3. Try to take less meat protein sources, and more non-meat protein sources. Americans in general eat excessive amounts of meat. A maximum portion of steak for example, is 3 oz, around the size of a hockey puck. Rather than piling your plate with meat, try beans or tofu, which are another great source of protein.

A FEW IMPORTANT NUMBERS

  • As a whole, Exeter has currently released 21,335 kg of CO2 into the atmosphere since 23 June, 2014. prt.exeter.edu:9191/environment/dashboard/
  • One beef patty uses a whopping 660 gallons of water to produce.

  • Animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gases.

  • Transportation is only responsible for 13% of greenhouse gases.

  • Livestock and its byproducts accounts for 51% of worldwide CO2 emissions.

  • 70% of US grain production is fed to livestock.

  • The takeaway is for all of us to be more conscious of the environmental impacts we have regarding our daily habits. There are so many ways to be more environmentally friendly, and these are just some of them. Change starts with awareness.
  • Sources:

    http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/nutritional-information-single-serving-steak-1895.html     http://www.latimes.com/food/dailydish/la-dd-gallons-of-water-to-make-a-burger-20140124-story.html

    https://conservationmagazine.org/2016/07/whats-your-foodprint/

    http://www.earthsave.org/environment.htm