Tackling climate change as college students

While the industrial civilization has been crucially shaping the world we live in, the continuing threat of climate change caused by environmentally harmful substances and industrialized lifestyles is incontrovertible and remains a hot button issue. Just in 2019 alone, the world panicked over the record burnings of the Amazon rainforest. These events indeed present an urgent question: how can we, the members of NSU and inhabitants of the earth, enable our future generations to experience the marvels of our planet that we have been blessed to experience?

 

In order for NSU students to take action on such a controversial issue, it is important to acknowledge that each of us may hold a distinct stance on the subject. While some perceive the exigency of climate change prevention in a practical way, others may be interested in the scientific study of it or may comprehend the issue through a religious lens. These differences should not be a surprise. However, as the world itself is inherently diverse, the main focus should always be to find a common ground within these arguments to achieve the desired goals we all share. Regardless of perspectives, a fact is always a fact — and the fact is that the planet’s climate is in extreme danger – and each of us needs to be responsible for this inextricable situation in order to make a change.

 

Fortunately, at NSU, there are some construction efforts, researches, initiatives and academic instructions across all disciplines regarding climate change that all students should be fully aware of:

 

Conservation efforts in building design and construction

Since the 1970’s, NSU has actively applied conservation technologies to the majority of new and existing buildings including high efficiency lighting systems, high efficiency air conditioning systems, automation computer systems, cost effective utility rates and conservation programs and thermally efficient roofs, windows and walls for buildings. The Strategic Plan for Sustainability, adopted in 2008, empowers the school to practice energy conservation and recycling. Just recently, solar domestic water heaters have been installed in some of the residence halls and Photovoltaic systems have been used to generate clean energy. The university has successfully executed some major changes, so now it’s our turn.

 

Academic and extracurricular engagement

The NSU Florida Climate Institute led by the Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography provides an interdisciplinary platform for information and discussion on climate issues for all students. Furthermore, on-campus organizations, such as the Epsilon Eta, Sigma Chapter of the National Environmental Honors Fraternity, the Green Sharks Student Sustainability Club and The Endangered Species Association, offer students many great opportunities to get immersed in the issue through various activities, trips and meaningful reflections.

 

Be a green-living self

Changing every day habits can hugely impact the global environment. Most of these habits are so simple that they are often times easy to neglect. Therefore, try doing the following to help the planet: turn off lights when leaving a room; refill water bottles; carpool, use shuttles or bike to save fuel; recycle paper, bottles, and plastic; unplug chargers when not in use and take shorter showers. It’s not too difficult to do all that, is it? It is always self-choices and awareness that matter the most.

Photo: L. Lim

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