How to be a sustainable student in 2023

by Cris Corbito

Cris is a General Arts and Science student who volunteers as a Sustainability Ambassador. He is interested in social and climate justice.

Happy 2023! Time flies too fast, doesn’t it?

This is a great time to start anew! Let’s make this year a wonderful and fruitful year as a Humber student and a global citizen, shall we?

Here are four simple resolutions that both eco- and student-friendly:

1. Eat a sustainable diet

The best way to go green this semester is to change our diet and make it more sustainable. A sustainable diet does not have to be expensive or organic. An eco-friendly is a plant-based diet, which means a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

Try your best to purchase local produce as they are more sustainable and budget friendly. Consuming less meat is sustainable as well, and the campuses have more vegetarian—and even vegan—options more than ever.

Examples of plant-based meals.

2. Take notes digitally

Taking notes during lectures varies from person to person. Doing it digitally is an eco-friendly practice as it can save and reduce paper consumption. This will also make taking notes easier and faster as opposed to doing it using pen and paper.

Person taking notes digitally.

3. Purchase used textbooks

Instead of purchasing new books, why not rent books physically or digitally or buy used textbooks? You can save tons of money and reduce paper consumption.  Even non-school books can be borrowed from the library or purchased digitally. The Humber Library has lots of physical, digital, and audio books ranging from non-fiction to fiction books. You should check it out during your free time!

Used textbooks.

4. Reduce social media usage

Besides being good for your mental health, reducing social media usage eliminates distractions and hours of procrastination, setting you up for greater academic success.

But how is this good for the environment? Any online activity has a carbon footprint.

While posting a photo on Instagram emits 0.15g of CO2, scrolling on your newsfeed for 1 minute emits 1.5g of CO2. This might not seem like much, but the average user spends 28 minutes scrolling daily – that amounts to 42g of CO2 on one social media platform every day. Most of us will also spread our time across multiple social media accounts and streaming platforms. If you’re one of the 2.85 million (and counting) users of Facebook, you produce 12g of CO2 per year; and if you’re streaming one hour’s worth of videos on Netflix and YouTube, that’s another 36g of CO2 in the emissions bank.

This is worrisome! By reducing our social media consumption, we can lessen our environmental impact, and redirect time towards other activities. You can, for example, try forest bathing at least once, and I’m pretty sure you will be addicted to it.

Enjoy the rest of your semester, and do not forget to take breaks!

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