Eco is friendly

Hailey Glasnovich

Sustainable practices minimize the potential risk of hurting the environment and the world of future generations. These actions can include eating healthier foods, reducing waste, and prioritizing recycling. Engaging in more sustainable practices is possible for students, but the expectation is not entirely reasonable. 

Most students do not have access to environmentally-friendly brands or resources. Those that do are typically on a tighter budget and cannot afford to buy from these brands. Unsustainable, discounted or off-brands draw the attention of college students quicker than sustainable, more expensive options.

The preference for discounted goods applies to food and grocery shopping, not clothes and fashion. Some students have no problem buying from more sustainable, high-end brands for clothing but will not spend some extra money on purchasing more environmentally friendly food brands. 

However, most students depend on the college’s meal plans for food. After paying for these, some students will rely solely on the food provided by the school and will not buy anything else. 

When living on the campus meal plans, it is unlikely that students will go buy healthier, non-processed foods from the store. Anything healthy and “fresh” is put into a plastic container, which seems to ruin the flavor and ripeness of the food.

Augustana students can ride the bus for free with their Augie ID, which is an efficient way for students to travel around the Quad Cities to be more sustainable. This would also provide the opportunity for students to shop at stores that can provide environmentally friendly food options.

However, this limits how much food a student can purchase at one time, not factoring in how students who live in the residence halls do not have much room for groceries anyway.

If Augustana would like to promote sustainable practices for college students, there should be more emphasis on healthier foods, recycling, and providing parking for electric vehicles.

Providing healthier food options for students would reduce the amount of waste, plastic, and trash from the packaging of processed foods. Students should not have to leave campus to find these healthier options. 

Prioritizing recycling on campus would be another beneficial way to reduce the amount of waste and create a more environmentally friendly campus. Students are provided with a small recycling bin in each room, but things such as cardboard boxes, plastic containers and papers will fill these bins very quickly, not influencing students to recycle as much.

Eco-friendly parking on campus would contribute to a “green” environment. Battery-powered cars are a more eco-friendly option for students, reducing or even eliminating the use and disposal of gasoline. Providing parking spots to charge cars would help the environment greatly because there are not many charging stations in the Quad City area.

Sustainability is achievable for college students, but Augustana needs to help provide better options on campus.