University Sustainability

Defining Sustainability since 1899

Green Spotlight Blogs

The Green Spotlight blogs allow students, faculty, staff, and friends of Appalachian a chance to express, in their own words, their personal connection to sustainability.

Tyler Johnson - Carbon Conflicts

Carbon dioxide emissions, while not being the most damaging of all of the greenhouse gas emissions, do hold the title of being the most abundant. These emissions are common byproducts of the modern environment. However, there are a myriad of ways you can combat them in both small and large capacities!

One way students can help offset their carbon emissions is through the Carbon Neutral Commuter program offered through Parking & Traffic Office when purchasing your parking pass. This adds $8 to the price of a parking tag and can be repeated on a yearly basis. Proceeds from the program go towards local carbon offsetting projects.

However, it is important to remember that this does not take away any carbon emissions, rather it provides a means of offsetting some of the pollution created by your everyday travels. The best thing to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from your vehicle is by simply reducing your usage of vehicles; biking, walking, and carpooling are all alternatives. Other positive effects of these changes range from increased social interaction to a healthier body and mind from the increased activity.

Some concrete ways one can reduce their carbon impact is through the reduction of energy usage and choosing locally grown foods. This reduces impact by subtracting the carbon that would be emitted through the energy production and transportation methods respectively. These provide easily accomplished means of making an impact that contribute not only to your carbon reduction, but also to the bettering of local food systems and economies through the support of your local farmers.

For purchases that are unable to be acquired locally it is the best practice for one to attempt to buy pre-owned in order to reduce both the waste produced from the product and the energy required to produce it. Another option is to reduce meat consumption as it impacts carbon emissions through the intensive measures needed to produce these protein sources. The energy and water required are several times that needed for veggie counterparts and there is a greater need for both land and resources in order to provide upkeep for the animals.

These small changes can help cut one’s carbon footprint. For more ideas and to show your commitment to sustainability on campus, consider going for the Green Appal certification if you are a student living in the residence halls.

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