Practical Ways Students Can Reduce Carbon Footprint in Canada

The climate has been changing in Canada and that can be attributed to the increasing levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In the quest for a greener future with fewer climate changes affecting our lives, students in Canada can play a pivotal role by adopting practical measures to reduce their carbon footprint. This comprehensive guide explores various eco-friendly habits and initiatives that not only contribute to environmental conservation but also empower students to make a meaningful difference. From daily lifestyle changes to community-driven projects, there are numerous avenues for students to embrace sustainability.

Table of Contents

Understanding Carbon Footprint

A carbon footprint is a measure of the total amount of greenhouse gases, specifically carbon dioxide (CO2) and other carbon compounds, that are emitted directly or indirectly by an individual, organization, event, or product throughout its lifecycle. We all contribute to climate change and need to take our part in reversing the process or reducing the effects that are currently present and making the future much better to live in. From the things we buy, consume, use, and other lifestyle choices we make, we produce a carbon footprint, and finding ways to minimize emissions is very important to the environment.

How PLC is Reducing Carbon Footprint?

In alignment with Canada’s commitment in 2021 to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40-45 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, Pacific Link College is actively advising its staff and students on adopting sustainable practices to significantly reduce their carbon footprint both on campus and in their homes. The college emphasizes the importance of individual contributions towards achieving national emission reduction targets, promoting eco-friendly behaviors, and responsible resource usage among its student community.

Some of the actions taken by PLC to mitigate the climate change caused by the carbon footprint include;

  • Completely moved file processing online. Going paperless helps reducing carbon footprint
  • Introducing a mandatory day of a week for online classes hence reducing carbon emissions by students from travelling.
  • Use of less carbon footprint aircrafts for staff travels.
  • Reduce the number of desktops in use to laptops. Laptops have low carbon emissions compared to desktops. Also, some departments are now using Macbooks and not Windows laptops.
  • Using products that have small carbon footprints like file organizers not made out of plastics and recycled materials

Ways Students Can Reduce Carbon Footprint in Canada

Reducing carbon footprints is a key focus in efforts to mitigate climate change, and individuals and organizations may take steps to minimize their impact. A larger footprint indicates greater greenhouse gas emissions and the negative impacts on the environment are bigger. The following are practical ways Pacific Link College students can implement to reduce their Carbon footprint:

1. Sustainable Transportation

Adopting sustainable transportation practices is a key step in minimizing carbon footprint. More greener options such as walking, biking to campus, carpooling, and public transportation can massively help in reducing emissions. Using public transportation or carpooling (traveling together in a car as a group) can be unfamous options among students as they want private and luxurious lives but these initiatives will greatly help to counter the levels of heavy emissions caused by the cumulative fuel consumption from private cars.  Walking or biking to campus also promotes a healthy lifestyle, and carpooling fosters a sense of community and can help you save money on fuel.

2. Energy Efficient Living

To make a significant impact, students should consider Opting for Renewable Energy sources. This could involve supporting renewable energy programs such as wind, geothermal, and hydro energy or investing in solar-powered solutions for personal use. On a daily basis, they can contribute by conserving electricity, and turning off lights and electronics when not in use. For example, using LED bulbs which use less energy instead of incandescent lights or halogen bulbs, trapping heat inside the room and using of efficient boiler can help reduce carbon emissions from our home.

3. Eco-Friendly Consumer Choices

When it comes to fashion everyone wants to look amazing but also making informed choices as consumers is crucial. The fashion and consumer goods industry often contribute significantly to carbon emissions and environmental degradation. Students can reduce their carbon footprint by Supporting Local and Sustainable Brands. Local businesses often have smaller carbon footprints compared to larger corporations that engage in extensive transportation and global production. By supporting local businesses, students contribute to their community’s economic health while simultaneously reducing the environmental impact associated with long-distance shipping and transportation. Additionally, opting for second-hand goods promotes sustainability and minimizes the environmental impact of manufacturing new products.

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

4. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

The principles of Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle collectively contribute to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly lifestyle. By adopting these practices, individuals actively participate in reducing the carbon footprint, conserving resources, and promoting a circular economy. A simple practice could be purchasing products that can be used more than once or recycled. Recycling 50% of your household waste will help you save 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide annually, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

5. Conscious Water Usage

Incorporating simple practices like using Reusable Water Bottles and supporting water conservation initiatives can significantly reduce water-related environmental impact.  By opting for reusable water bottles (cost-effective – instead of buying bottled water every time), individuals reduce the demand for single-use plastics, minimizing the overall carbon footprint associated with manufacturing and waste management. At home and on campus, students can adopt simple practices like turning off the faucet after using it, turning on the faucet slowly so water doesn’t spill everywhere, and making sure no tap is left dropping water in the washroom

6. Good Eating Habits

The food we consume has a significant environmental impact, from production to distribution and waste. Livestock farming, especially cattle, contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions. Students can also opt for substituting beef with chicken. Transitioning to Plant-Based diets and minimizing food waste are impactful steps toward reducing the carbon footprint associated with food production and consumption. Not only Plant-based diets are good for the environment but often they are rich in nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants, promoting overall well-being.

7. Advocacy and Community Engagement

Raising awareness about the importance of reducing carbon footprint is vital. Students can collaborate with local organizations, actively participate in local clean-up initiatives, and support green projects within the community are ways they can contribute to the broader environmental cause. Organizing and participating in environment-focused events and national sustainability campaigns demonstrate a commitment to collective action for a greener future.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Absolutely! Every small action counts. By adopting sustainable habits and influencing others, you contribute to a collective effort in reducing carbon footprint.

Yes, various governmental and non-governmental initiatives offer support and resources for students interested in reducing their carbon footprint. For example in British Columbia, CleanBC is an initiative to counter the effects of climate change. They plan to lower carbon footprint emissions by 40% by 2030.

There are many affordable sustainable options, such as thrifting, DIY projects, and community-based initiatives. Sustainability doesn’t have to break the bank.

Yes, online learning can be more environmentally friendly by eliminating the need for commuting and reducing the energy consumption associated with traditional classrooms. As a matter of fact, at Pacific Link College, all Monday classes are online.

Lead by example. Showcase the benefits of sustainable living through your actions, organize awareness campaigns, and engage in green community events, to inspire your colleagues in joining the sustainable living movement.