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Gazette student columnist breaking habits of disposable culture

Student Life

Going paperless is admittedly a foreign concept for me.

I know that I should be consuming less paper, but it is so hard. Although I love reading papers on actual paper, writing my notes on paper and using a paper planner, I am trying my best to go paperless and reduce my paper and single-use consumption for the sake of the environment.

Breaking the habit

Before this semester, I used to write every note on paper. Every note in class and every study note was written on paper.

Now, I try my best to type my notes. This saves unnecessary waste by saving paper, and by not having to throw out as many empty pens! I do write some notes, though. However, I’ve started using only one notebook to write all my notes instead of having a separate notebook for each course.

“These are very easy things to switch up in your routine when you commit.”

When I used separate notebooks for each course every semester, I found that at the end of the semester there would be a lot of paper left in the backs of the notebooks that I wasn’t using.

I’m also opting to email or submit papers online if professors aren’t particular about how they are submitted. These are very easy things to switch up in your routine when you commit, and it will help with reducing your consumption of paper a lot. Trust me.

Throwaway culture

I have also been trying to reduce my consumption of single-use items and trying to choose products with less packaging.

For example, I’ve been using reusable straws and cups when I go to takeout places. I never realized until I started washing items like these just how much of the disposable versions I was throwing out.

I also now use bar soap instead of pump soap and body wash because it comes in a tiny recyclable box instead of a huge bottle that can’t possibly be reused for anything.

When I’m shopping, I take reusable bags (support the plastic bag ban!) and choose the email receipt option if one is available. These changes are very easy to make and the impact they have on reducing your waste is significant.

Collective passion = real change

My next step in trying to reduce and reuse is to start thrift shopping for clothing more and reduce my meat consumption! There’s a lot we can all do to reduce our negative impact on our planet — there’s only one Earth!

Hopefully our collective passion for helping the environment will resonate with large corporations who need to start demonstrating environmental leadership at the macro level.

I believe that if we all try to be better, we can set an example for upcoming generations.


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