By Wylie Post, Contributing Writer.
October is Campus Sustainability Month, and UMF is making sure to do its part through educating and creating opportunities for students and staff to get involved.
Many students at UMF and across the country are aware of climate change and global warming. However, the difference between these two commonly gets confused.
“‘Global warming refers to observed increases in average surface temperatures on Earth” while climate change “refers to changing patterns or trends in “long-term weather,” says Mark Pires, UMF’s sustainable campus coordinator.
In the most recent climate report from the UN, the panel discussed the harmful impacts the earth will take sooner in the future rather than later. The increase in carbon dioxide, mainly fossil fuels, has created higher temperatures in the atmosphere, which is now called ‘global warming’.
Image from United Nations
The UN believes that within the next 30 years, the environment and climate will continue to get worse if nothing is done.
The world has faced many catastrophic disasters. Flash floods, heatwaves, forest fires, and even historic droughts have occurred within the past ten years. Many of these disasters are due to the fact that the people who roam the Earth and call it their home are not taking care of it.
In 2019, students at UMF gathered on Mantor Green to increase awareness of climate change. The students were able to gather over 200 signatures on a petition to help the battle.
Local stores like The Outskirts, Touch of Class, and the Farmington Thrift Shop are all located downtown in Farmington and provide ways for students to shop green.
“Manufacturing new clothes creates a crazy carbon and water footprint,” says Aiden Saulnier, co-student leader of SCC in 2019.
Throughout the country, civilians have discussed their beliefs on global warming and whether it is accurate or not. Most famously coming from the former President, Donald J. Trump, in a tweet, “I don’t think it’s a hoax, I think there’s probably a difference. But I don’t know that it’s manmade,” when discussing climate change. However, campuses worldwide have discovered new ways to be environmentally conscious with climate change activism clubs and even more. At UMF, the Sustainable Campus Coalition gathers students to discuss climate change, global warming, and how students can adjust their daily routines to create a more sustainable place to live.
Worldwide, climate change has been a huge discussion. It is the student’s duty on campus to be aware of these environmental issues and how to deal with them.
“I think that students should take notice of the information they hear about climate change, think carefully and critically about what is being said and who is saying it, and arrive at their own conclusions as to how best to interpret and understand what is happening on the planet at the moment,” Pires said.
After discussing the climate report from the United Nations and the historical changes on our planet within the past ten years, it is well noted that something needs to change. If not, this Earth is destined for darkness. The people are the only ones who can help stop global warming and live healthier.
Make sure to stop by the Ed. Center in room 113 on Fridays during Common Time at the Sustainable Campus Coalition.
“UMF students can keep an eye out for announcements coming out soon around campus and on social media about a series of events being planned by the Sustainable Campus Coalition to acknowledge Campus Sustainability Month during October,” Pires said.
There are several ways students can practice sustainability on campus. “A major thing would be for students to purchase reusable water bottles and bags, as many students already do,” student Kayleigh Brisard said. Students can also find recycling bins around campus in each building.
Paper adds up quickly, so another way to spread awareness for climate change and to practice sustainability is to go paperless! Google Docs, Microsoft Word, and Pages are all free and easily accessible resources for students to take notes on their laptops and reduce the amount of paper being used. Reusable to-go containers are also available at UMF!
UMF also has a community garden for students to use! Gardening is a simple and fun way to get involved with cleaning up the earth and making good use of the environment.
Cleaning up on campus is extremely important and a great way to practice sustainable living in order to reduce global warming and climate change. Remember the golden rule… reduce, reuse, and recycle.