It’s simple; people go to the trash can, throw it in the trash can, and walk away without a second thought.
But how often do people think about where their trash goes? How often do people take action to separate their trash and recycle it properly? As such, people often don’t care how and where they dispose of their waste or recycle it.
This is just one of the situations where the idea of sustainability is beneficial.
Fortunately, Taylor University has several measures in place that promote sustainability. These measures range from reducing food waste to saving energy and water. Many of these measures are not only financially beneficial, but they also help us better manage the many resources that people often take for granted.
Phil Grabowski, Assistant Professor of Sustainable Development Program, said:
Grabowski explained that if the waste is properly segregated, the recycled waste will be sold to companies, which will generate income for the university. Any waste in the bin has to go to a landfill, and Taylor has to pay for it.
Recycling is not only more economically beneficial for universities, but also more sustainable for the environment. When something that should have been recycled ends up in the garbage, it goes to a landfill and stays there indefinitely.
“The message I want my students to hear is to recycle properly, pay attention to the signs, put things in the right bins, and don’t throw your salad in the recycling bin. Through it all,” he said. Grabowski said. “Things get polluted and everything goes in the trash.”
There are many other types of waste, such as water waste, food waste, and energy waste.
Grabowski advises avoiding unnecessarily long showers, as a lot of energy is used to get water from the source to the faucet. A slightly shorter shower not only saves water, it also saves the energy used to transport and heat the water.
“When students waste food, or when someone wastes food, it goes into landfills and usually produces methane, which is a greenhouse gas,” said Grabowski. Not only is there the pollution aspect, but there is also all the waste that went into growing that food, processing that food, and transporting it here.”
Luckily, Taylor University has measures in place to prevent some food waste, such as feeding employee cows and pigs skins and scraps, and freezing pristine food to donate to the community. there is.
When it comes to wasting energy on the move, driving short distances may be convenient, but walking is usually healthier for your body and mind. Walking also helps reduce the amount of emissions from your car. Bikes and skateboards are also great options if you want faster transportation.
In fact, Michael Gebbert, co-chair of the Department of Biology, Environmental Sciences, Public Health and Sustainability, manages a garage next to the Ockenga Honors Lodge, which offers bike rentals and allows students to fix their own bikes. doing.
Some students may tend to downplay sustainability efforts or ask, “Why should I care?”
Environmental Science major James Bates provided the answer.
“The simple answer to ‘why should others care’ is because you are human and you live on Earth,” Bates said. “If you were a human being and lived on Earth, whether you were aware of it or not, you would be heavily dependent on everything on Earth, and even more directly on the particular system in which you live nearby. You depend on the water cycle in your area, the carbon cycle in your area, you depend on the crops that grow around you, and the trees and vegetation that grows around you. increase.
Bates explained that his concern for the environment and creation derives from his knowledge and experience with that creation.
He compared this advance from knowledge to care to how he takes care of his own body. People learn about their bodies, learn how to take care of them, and understand the importance of taking care of them.
“If we don’t invest in them[environmental aspects]and don’t abuse them, we not only lose this part of our mission in Genesis where we are called to care for creation Frankly, we don’t even have the benefit of surviving,” Bates said.
Bates emphasized the importance of fostering awareness and appreciation for the environment by putting oneself in a place where one can experience and learn about the environment.
He also expressed how easy it is to ignore the importance of resources and the environment as a result of access to resources such as water, food and energy.
“I want the students here to at least have water, electricity, food, […] Many of them are finite sources,” Bates said. “So, at the very least, think about these things, take the most action, and change the way you live to use (resources) more conservatively.”
Students interested in learning more about environmental science can explore Taylor’s Stewards of Creation Club, which is actively working to raise awareness of sustainability on campus. For more information, please contact Juniper Tucker (firstname.lastname@example.org), Jared Hyatt (email@example.com), or Emily Hudson (firstname.lastname@example.org). Additionally, the residence halls have volunteer sustainability assistants to promote sustainable practices. We welcome students from all majors and departments.