Taking care of the environment and protecting the planet God has provided to us can be an important goal for a number of Northwestern students. For those interested in going green, several other students have some tips and tricks to help more people prevent waste and promote recycling and sustainable living.
“I use reusable products whenever possible, from water bottles to shopping bags,” SAID biology-health professions and chemistry major Alison Schutt. “Often this requires a bit of planning and thinking ahead, but keeping these resources in easily accessible places can help.”
Schutt keeps her reusable shopping bags in her car and a reusable water bottle in her backpack so that using these products proves to be not only handy, but easy to remember.
Daniel Tolsma, a sophomore social work major with a minor in religion agreed, said that the best way to protect the environment is to follow the old saying: “reduce, reuse, and recycle.”
“Always check to see if you can recycle it,” he added. “Be conscious of what you can control.”
In addition to recycling in general, both Schutt and Tolsma offered helpful insight on how recycling can improve both in Orange City and at NW.
“We live in a small town,” Tolsma said. “Walk, bike, scooter, avoid driving and be conscious of the fact that you don’t need to drive everywhere. If you can get there on foot, do that.”
Schutt agreed, and also offered some suggestions for going green when eating and recycling on campus.
“Every building has recycling cans — sometimes they aren’t in the most convenient places, but make the extra effort to find and use them,” Schutt said.
She also provided tips for less waste when eating at the Hub, pointing out that to-go cup lids are only necessary when on the go, and condiment containers are daily wastes that could be avoided by pouring ketchup into the basket.
“This is the only earth we get,” Schutt said. “Our culture is one that focuses on disposable things, but a few simple choices can help you avoid using many disposable things.
Both students also tied recycling back to scripture,.
“In Genesis, it calls us to have dominion over the living things,” Tolsma said. “We are called to have dominion over the earth and we are called to take care of the environment through that. If you think of it as a kingdom and you want a successful rule, then we need to take care of even the littlest of things. Having that caring likeness is important.”
Schutt also quotes theologian John Calvin in saying that the “general revelation” found in nature can teach God’s people truths about God, as well as about His creation.
“The earth and all of the organisms that call it home form a beautifully complex world that I love to study,” Schutt said. “Studying science has helped me realize abd understand on a deeper level the multiple functions, protections and wonders of creation.”
Both Tolsma and Schutt also agree waste is becoming a problem on our planet.
“The environment is in trouble and if we continue to use, abuse and degrade it, like humanity has in the past, then the environment will undergo even more irreversible damage.”