How Students Can Be Sustainable for a Better Future

How Students Can Be Sustainable for a Better Future

Amajla Tricic, News Editor

Earth Day is fast approaching as college students around the world have become more vocal about the importance of climate change and how to promote sustainability.

On April 22, Utica College will host an Earth Day Festival on Strebel Lawn. The event will feature tips and tricks to help live a more sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle. Food and games will also be present at the event as well as information on composting, succulents, upcycle giveaways, reusable water bottles and more.

Biology major Tommy Ciccolella explained students from Utica College have joined together to create the event in order to promote sustainability on campus and encourage an environmentally conscious way of living.

There will be information at the event to explain how individuals can reduce waste and how to overcome boundaries they might face in the process. Ciccolella said the best and easiest way to evaluate your carbon footprint is to do a “garbage hall.”

“Throw on a pair of gloves, look at what you are putting into the landfills, and think of the four Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle and rot,” Ciccolella said. “The first step towards decreasing your impact is to just say no. It’s great for the environment and your wallet. If you think being eco-friendly is more expensive, then you are probably going about it wrong.”

Ciccolella suggests that people search “zero-waste” on any social media platform to find extremely knowledgeable users who are looking to help others decrease their environmental impact. Ciccolella said that if there are animal products found during the “garbage hall,” people should try to think of ways they can reduce their use of such items.

“I’m not trying to radically force everyone to join PETA, but I do want people to be aware of their diet’s impact and implement small, manageable changes,” Ciccolella said. “I went vegan 3 years ago largely because animal agriculture requires an alarming amount of resources compared to a plant-based diet. I feel that veganism and zero-waste living should be viewed as goals, not strict guidelines — it makes it more manageable and easier to continue long term.”

Victoria Wenke, a senior at UC, said she lives a vegan lifestyle because she cares about the earth and what happens to it. She finds it upsetting that people do not pay much attention to Earth Day and finds it silly that the Earth is only highlighted once a year.

“This is our home and it is constantly being destroyed, and no one seems to care,” Wenke said. “Earth day is a day to reinforce the importance of what so many are destroying and to highlight all these small changes we can make each day to help lessen the damage.”

Robert Bashant, a senior, also agreed that the Earth does too much for us, while we have not done enough for it.

“Earth Day is a day to appreciate and recognize everything this planet has provided for all living creatures on Earth,” Bashant said. “It’s a day for humans to give back to the earth after it has given so much to us.”