Many people today are concerned about the state of our environment, including students in every age group.
With greenhouse gas emissions ramping up global warming, and the resulting climate change creating increasingly intense weather patterns (not to mention diminishing polar ice caps), it's no wonder the youth of the world are worried.
What will they have to look forward to?
A planet that has been denuded of forests and natural resources?
Land masses polluted with trash and chemical waste?
A rationing of the remaining sources of drinkable water?
People may be interested in finding innovative ways to make life easier, but it won't do us much good if there are no resources left to power our electronics and fuel our vehicles.
And for community college students seeking ways to cut their own carbon footprint and spread awareness, the campus can provide myriad ways to speak out and get others involved in these pressing issues.
Here are just five ways to do your part:
1. Plan trips to the recycling center.
It might irk you to see students throwing recyclable items (cans, bottles, etc.) into trash cans instead of the recycling bins that are literally right next to them. But rather than publicly lambasting these people, you might consider how you can get them to care enough to make a change.
Talk to teachers on campus (environmental science instructors, for example) about planning field trips to the local recycling center as part of their coursework.
Or lead a group yourself, just figure out a bus route and put up fliers (on recycled paper, of course) to drum up interest.
2. Start found art projects.
Using the Watts Towers as your inspiration, start a campus-wide drive to collect garbage and turn it into art.
Talk to the administration about setting aside an area on campus in which to complete your installment, and then ask the student body to pick up any litter or castoffs they find around campus to add to your sculpture.
You can let it grow organically (although you don't necessarily want to create a pile of trash in the middle of campus) or organize it into your own thing of beauty that serves as a reminder of the potential for reusing items that one might otherwise toss in the trash.
3. Campaign for reduced consumption.
Your college campus may use both energy and water in huge quantities, and there are ways to reduce consumption in both areas.
You can start your efforts for change by campaigning for simple changes like the use of natural light when possible, the implementation of CFL or LED bulbs (as opposed to energy-guzzling incandescents), and decreased watering of lawn areas.
You might also suggest swapping out water-reliant flora and fauna for native, drought-resistant plants.
And if you have a solid plan of action in place, you might even convince your campus to let qualified students install alternative energy sources (like solar panels) or set up a gray water system for the landscaping.
4. Broker a deal for discount bus passes.
Most students at the community college level drive themselves to campus.
And while some may be able to set up carpools, student scheduling conflicts could make this nearly impossible.
So talk to your school and to your local Department of Transportation about striking a deal for discount bus passes for students.
It couldn't hurt to at least open negotiations.
5. Organize a lecture series.
There are probably all kinds of community leaders involved in eco-friendly businesses and other efforts that would be happy to speak to the student body about innovations and opportunities for greener living.
So get a jump on your online MBA in marketing by arranging with the administration to set up a lecture series and then enticing students to take a listen.