Students at the University of Maryland know that every person can make a positive impact on the Earth’s environment – through daily habits that reduce energy consumption and waste, reuse products before discarding them, and recycle all plastics, paper, cardboard, metal and glass.
A sustainable lifestyle – living your life in a way that protects the environment – involves modifying your lifestyle and making some easy changes about what you buy, use and throw away. The widely accepted definition of sustainability is to…“meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (Brundtland Commission, 1987). For campus residents, checklists of these daily sustainability habits are shown at our What You Can Do pages. The personal rewards of adopting these habits are great: You get the satisfaction of reducing your environmental impact, you’ll feel healthier, and you’ll probably save yourself some money. Remember, small changes in habits will add up to meaningful contributions to the environment!
Resident Life and our entire campus have taken great strides in the last few years to be sustainable. This effort has ranged from facility improvements and purchasing procedures to better use of technology. Creating a sustainable campus environment requires the help and support of all campus citizens, from students, staff, faculty and the many visitors who come to our campus each year.
Another aspect of choosing a sustainable lifestyle is to promote that lifestyle to your friends and others in your community. Hall Councils and Area Councils of the Residence Hall Association (RHA) are great ways to get involved as responsible citizens and work on sustainability programs, education and policy advocacy. Email RHA at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to be contacted by the Vice President for Sustainability.
Why Reduce…Reuse…and Recycle?
- Saves the energy and energy costs it takes to grow, harvest, or manufacture products and materials and later discard them.
- Conserves natural resources such as water, soil, metals, fuels, and forests.
- Helps protect the environment by limiting harmful effects of production processes, minimizing the introduction of harmful substances into waterways and waste streams, and reducing the volume of material that must be incinerated, buried in landfills or chemically disposed of.
- Keeps fees and costs to students lower, due to reductions in water, electricity, etc.