With winter break fast approaching some of you may have big plans for the semester gap, but in our excitement lets not forget the importance of minimizing our waste and our environmental impact.
Students on the HSU campus have a few ideas on how minimize our environmental footprint this break.
Kyla Toole’Wells, a kinesiology major in her third year at HSU says that when we travel we should, “go in groups.”
“Usually I carpool or take a bus,” said Kyla Tool’Wells.
Molly Cribari, a Chemistry major at HSU also suggests carpooling or other less impactful forms of transportation when traveling.
Humboldt State offers a Homeward Bound bus program for HSU students that live in California. Students going back to the bay area or down to LA can go into their student center to sign up for this bus when seats are available. (Seats are no longer available on this bus for the trip down over winter break.)
Another way to travel efficiently if you don’t already have a fun carpool plan is to use Zimride, the ride sharing service HSU partnered with back in 2013.
Besides your travel plans there are other things to keep in mind this break. The holidays, Christmas, Hanukkah, the Solstice, and other sacred/special days that are celebrated can increase waste in a few ways.
Brian Simpson, a forestry major in his last semester encourages those who partake in getting a Christmas tree, to purchase an actual tree.
“Getting an actual tree from a forest seems like its not environmentally friendly, but trees are in fact a renewable resource,” said Simpson. “Getting an actual tree from a tree farm or a forest helps with carbon sequestration.
The tradition of giving holiday presents can also create a large amount of waste for some families. Both Simpson and Toole’Wells recommend reusing wrapping paper.
“Wrapping paper and presents creates a lot of trash, so recycle, and I always like to save bags and reuse bags,” said Toole’Wells.
Reusing bags, using reusable bags, or wrapping in newspaper can be alternatives to simply buying more paper to immediately throw away.
“Maybe make cute newspaper ones ones and be crafty,” said Toole’Wells.
Jessica Ramirez, general biology major’s family has reused the same present bags for most of her life.
“We reuse any christmas bags every year, we’ve probably had the same ones since we were born,” said Ramirez. “We don’t really buy too many presents.”
Ramirez also thinks we should think about our gifts more and make sure they mean something.
“Maybe try to just reduce how many presents people actually need,” Ramirez. “I feel like people overbuy because there’s so many deals, but you know it’s not about the deals, it’s just about the thought really.”