Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

How to live a more sustainable life as a college student

Elizabeth Hope

Can college students live sustainably? A lot of students are very conscious of the mark they are going to leave on this world and believe that certain resources will be taken away from them when they arrive at college. It turns out that UTSA has everything Roadrunners need to live an eco-friendly lifestyle on campus.

Recycling program

UTSA has a great recycling program, and at every dorm, there are dumpsters and recycling bins for your trash. “In an effort to reduce our impact on the environment, UTSA has adopted all-in-one recycling and the mini-bin program to enable waste reduction and increase campus recycling,” UTSA Facilities said. 

Roadrunner Café

The Roadrunner Cafe has a multitude of vegan and vegetarian options in the Plant Forward and True Balance sections. Last semester, they added Babylon Micro-Farm, which supplies sustainable farming right in the cafeteria to help reduce the amount of emissions that occur while farming. You can watch the plants bloom and grow and then see them on your next dinner plate.

Alternative transportation

UTSA provides a range of alternative transportation options to help reduce your carbon footprint from the VIA Link bus system to BeakCycles. The UTSA campus and VIA Metropolitan Transit collaborated to issue students, staff and faculty with free bus services, including the new on-demand rides through VIA Link. The BeakCycles were implemented through UTSA’s Office of Sustainability to help reduce the campuss carbon footprint. The bikes are completely free, are located all over campus, and rides are unlimited. 

Walkable campus

UTSA’s Office of Sustainability has been working on an initiative to make Brenan Avenue a greenway by making it specifically for pedestrians and cyclists. A greenway is a strip of undeveloped land set aside for recreational use and environmental protection. For the office, making campus as safe as possible is the utmost priority, and one way we can do that is by improving the air quality. Ground-level ozone pollutes our earth, damaging human health and our environment. If we cut down the amount of emissions we produce as humans, like driving cars, our overall health will improve.

The Office of Sustainability has also installed new illuminated crosswalk signs that were funded through a grant to improve walkability and remind motorists to make a complete stop for students at crosswalks. Making Brenan Avenue less car-centric will make campus more sustainable. We will be reducing ground-level ozone, enhancing our air quality and as a whole our health and safety will improve. 

Tips to live sustainably on campus

When you walk around campus, most restaurants are promoting sustainability. Starbucks has signs about cutting down on straws, using reusable cups and they provide free coffee grounds for your garden. In the UTSA bookstore, they encourage you not to use plastic bags and they have a sustainable clothing collection. When walking around campus, take note of all the sustainable actions being made. There is sustainability on every corner here at UTSA.

Here are some additional tips to live a more sustainable lifestyle as a college student: Recycle, carpool, bike, walk, thrift your clothes, cut down on plastic use, use reusable water bottles, use recycled material notebooks, conserve electricity, join sustainable clubs on campus and vote.

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About the Contributor
Elizabeth Hope
Elizabeth Hope, Staff Writer
Elizabeth Hope (she/her) is a senior and a communication major at UTSA. She is originally from Montana and moved to Austin when she was 11. In 2022 she earned her associates degree in journalism from Austin Community College. After graduation she hopes to pursue a career in journalism or policy and advocacy for environmental issues. Outside of work and school she enjoys playing piano, reading and making jewelry.

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  • D

    Dales KentOct 11, 2023 at 10:42 pm

    You have written a great article. It speaks to my own efforts…especially for recycling, plastic waste reduction, and energy conservation. I hope that many read and use it to help make our world “greener!”

  • A

    ArronOct 3, 2023 at 4:40 pm

    Reading this has helped to affirm my new perspective in the way I not only see the world we share, but your generation as well. See, at 52, I have begun to take an honest measure of the impact I have had and now choose to leave a much smaller footprint when possible. As the father of two young men, I do not want to leave behind a legacy that will force them to live in the wake of my turbulence.
    I will not say that I can ever subscribe to the vegan lifestyle or even that of a vegetarian as I could not exist as a herbivore. I am more of an opportunivore. That is to say I will eat anything you put in front of me. If what you put in front of me, however, can arrive there with less waste, emmissions and in a more humane manner, I will choose that option every time.
    I commend you for speaking out and letting your voice ring true. I know my future will someday lie in the hands of your generation and it is those like you that make it a far less frightening prospect.
    Please continue to fight the good fight to inform and inspire others. What we do locally will someday have an effect globally.
    Thank you and Godspeed.