This semester I am taking my first science class of my college career, a course taught by Dr. David White entitled Human Ecological Sciences. Our first task involved going to this website and calculating our footprints on the world. My results were extremely embarrassing- if everyone on earth lived like me, we would need 7 earths. Wow. That came as quite a wake up call. I don’t consider myself an eco-concious individual, but I never imagined that I lived a life of such conspicuous consumption. My next step was obvious: make an effort in my daily life to live a more sustainable life. But how?

Step 1: Invest in a water bottle. Bottled water, while readily available in the C-store, is SO BAD for the environment! Did you know it can take between 450 and 1000 years for a bottle to decompose?! Is it really worth it? I bought myself a nice, durable bottle (like this one) and I have since started decorating it with stickers! A way to help the environment AND be fashionable? I’m all over it.

Step 2: Get involved on campus. Loyola Association of Students for Sustainability  (LASS) has hosted a “Green for Green” competetion where students presented ideas on how to make Loyola more environmentally friendly. The winner received money to implement their initiative! They have a very strong presence with the student body and I expect more great things from them!

Step 3: Shop locally. Loyola students have the luxury of local produce being brought right to campus. How easy is that? We have organically grown fruits and veggies right at our finger tips with a weekly farmers market that sets up by the Iggy statue.

Step 4: Get educated. I’m learning more in my Human Ecological Science class than I have in any other science class I’ve taken. Did you know that the golf course cause hundreds of tons of chemicals to be dumped in the water in Audubon park? What about that the ducks there are only seasonal and throw the park into a little bit of chaos with the amount of food they eat and amount of waste they produce? Knowledge is power, and I am feeling powerful!

There are few topics more near and dear to the Loyola student population than sustainability on campus. With the recent wave of student- led activites promoting environmental friendly changes at Loyola, the pressure is on for the administration to implement some key new policies to lesson Loyola’s footprint on the world. We have a recycling program in place, but I know we can do more! Loyola will only change its ways if we, as a student body, let them know that being green is important to us. Who’s with me?

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