There’s no use beating around the bush, we’re pretty bad at taking care of our planet. With our constant production of greenhouse gases, humans are filling the Earth up with harmful substances that we’re just breathing back in. This problem may seem a little daunting to high school and college students, but there are so many ways that we can help try to reverse all the damage our society has done. A big reason why some people may choose to ignore the environment’s bad state is that we think it’ll be too expensive to try and help. Taking advantage of “green” energy, like wind and solar power, and buying a hybrid car, for example, is not economically convenient for most people. For that reason, I’ve compiled a list of three simple things we can all do to help save our environment and our wallets.
The first thing, and probably the most obvious, is to stop driving. When you’re on the road, take a look at the cars next to you. You’ll probably see that most people are alone. Arranging carpools, taking the bus, or riding your bike is so much better for the environment than just driving yourself. Transportation vehicles are one of the biggest contributors to harmful gas emissions. Obviously, we’re not going to get anyone to stop traveling. What we can do as high school and college students, though, is to start a habit we can continue later in life of arranging carpools and using public transport. In terms of saving money, when you stop driving your own car, you also stop paying for gas (which are continually rising).
The second thing students can do is to stop buying so many plastic water bottles! I cannot stress enough how irrational buying water is. It’s overpriced and the production of plastic is incredibly harmful to the environment. If you like carrying your water around, all you have to do is spend about 10 dollars on a reusable water bottle and you can refill it for free at any water fountain! You’ll also save money down the line from not buying all those plastic ones from the vending machine.
The third thing we can all do is to eat less animal products. By animal products, I mean meat, cheese, milk, and eggs. I know, it’s a hard one. The reason why I suggest this is twofold. The first reason is that animals produce a gas called methane. Animals produce so much of this that the animal industry is actually more harmful for our ozone than the entire transportation industry! The other reason is simple: meat is expensive. Sure, a cheeseburger may cost 99 cents at a fast food restaurant, but when you’re actually buying food at a grocery store, take a second to look down the meat isle. Some of the cheapest food you’ll find in the grocery store is stuff like simple grains, fruits, and vegetables. If you’re living on a budget, the best thing you can do for your wallet is to lessen your consumption of animal based food.