By Ashwatha Mahesh
A bright start awaits you as you arrive on campus for the new semester, refreshed from the holidays. AUS Sustainability warmly welcomes you, providing you with a few simple ways to make your semester enjoyable, productive and sustainable.
Below is a list of actions that will help you save money, engage socially and protect the environment at the same time.
- Use reusable water bottles and cutlery
Buying plastic water bottles is a big personal expense in the long run. They also have a significant impact to our environment as some take way too long to decompose and can affect your health as well. Reusable steel or glass bottles are easy to find, inexpensive and reduce your environmental impact by a big margin.
Fact: Plastic water bottles take 450 years to decompose.
Another way for you to reduce plastic consumption, is to use reusable steel cutlery at your home/dorm and refrain from buying the disposable plastic spoons, forks along with your take away.
- Volunteer with the Environmental Club each semester
Volunteer to work with the Environmental Club on campus—a great addition on your CV to highlight your skills and passion. As a member of the club, you can participate in exciting on-campus activities, awareness campaigns and attend events around the country.
Contact the Student Development and Organizations Department for more information.
- Reusable Bags
Worldwide, a trillion plastic bags are produced, used and discarded every year. This is an equivalent of 2 million plastic bags per minute. These have caused a lot of damage to animals causing things like livestock chocking for animals like camels here in the United Arab Emirates and other animals elsewhere. Marine life has also been impacted significantly as plastic bags have been found in the stomachs of some endangered marine species.
Ensure your next shopping trip is ecofriendly and save a turtle, by carrying your own jute or tote bag and spread the word to your friends.
AUS has several recycling bins for the disposal of metals, plastics, cardboard, paper and glass so that you can regularly recycle. More than 50% of the daily waste thrown away, can be recycled. A large recycling cage is adjacent to the Sports Complex for larger deposits of recycling materials.
- Make your commute around campus green
AUS Sustainability Division encourages you to take advantage of the pleasant weather conditions and commute around the campus by:
- taking the shuttle buses
Bicycle racks are located outside of most AUS buildings. The bus route map is available here.
In addition being environmentally friendly, you’ll gain health benefits by walking, cycling or skating to class.
- Talk about sustainability
With increasing popularity in the sustainability field, it is not surprising to find sustainability integrated within other disciplines such as architecture, engineering and even business administration.
Sustainability is therefore a conversation starter and a field with a bright future.
Ashwatha Mahesh is a Part-Time Administrative Coordinator at the Sustainability division of the American University of Sharjah.
Visit www.aus.edu for more information about American University of Sharjah.