Issues surrounding the environment are constantly on the chopping-block where the government is concerned. Between deforestation, massive amounts of waste on our land and in our oceans, and the pollution of the air, I think we can all agree that current trends are not sustainable no matter our political views. The cool thing about this issue is that we all live here, so while we can choose to care or not care, we still only get one planet.
Luckily, Georgia State cares a great deal about the planet. Here’s four ways GSU promotes a more sustainable, greener, healthier Earth.
We’ve all seen the recycling bins next to the trash cans on campus. Never again will any of us face that moment of panic when we need to throw away a bottle but there are no recycling receptacles in sight. Or is that just me? Either way—GSU has shown an awesome commitment to making sure no bottle, can, or plastic cup goes unrecycled. Over the past couple of years, they’ve taken it one step further. At this point, there’s hardly anything you can’t recycle on campus. Have an old printer ink or toner cartridge that you’re thinking about throwing away? What about a broken cell phone? Batteries? Scrap metal? Bring any of these types of items and more to Courtland South (120 Collins St, right across from GDeck) and recycle them with ease. Think about it: an ink cartridge takes nearly 1,000 years to decompose. A plastic bottle will take about 450 years. Worth a trip to a recycling bin or facility, right?
2. Creating a bike-friendly campus
Georgia State is covered in bike paths and parking stations (just bring your own lock!). But they didn’t stop there. Did you know that you can rent a bike totally for free from the Student Recreation Center? Touch the Earth rents bikes free to GSU students and offers free minor bicycle repairs. And don’t forget that the Atlanta BeltLine runs right up to campus—so even if you live a bit further away, biking still may be a sustainable commuting option for you! Not only does biking cut down on pollution, but it also contributes to our health. Wins all around!
3. Bring your own mug—get a discount!
Who doesn’t like cheap coffee? These days, a fancy latte can cost upwards of five dollars. As we head into the pumpkin spice season when all of our coffee inhibitions are lowered, why not get cheaper coffee while protecting Mother Earth? Both Saxby’s and Centennial Café offer discounts to students who bring their own mugs. Pro-tip: purchase one of the awesome mugs from Centennial Café and enjoy a 20% discount every time you come in!
4. Awesome Going-Green student orgs
Want to get involved and save the planet with other inspired GSU students? There are four great student organizations committed to helping the planet: The Atlanta Herpetology Club, Sustainable Energy Tribe, Environmental Law Society, and GSU Bikes. These clubs are each devoted in different ways to bettering the planet such as educational events, community service opportunities, and more. Find out more here: http://sustainability.gsu.edu/go-green/campus-iniatives/student-groups/
We’ve all heard the words “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” since we were kids in elementary school—but did we take them to heart? Panthers are a big part of this city. I challenge each of you to think about how you can reflect the GSU attitude toward sustainability in your day-to-day. If every American recycled just one-tenth of the paper they use, we could save about 25 million trees each year. Think of how far that would stretch if we recycled all of our recyclable materials. Change the world, Panthers.