Hello, My name is Trashy. I work in the Office of Sustainability and I am the official host of #TrashTalk, a segment where we learn together about recycling and waste in the University and around Oxford. As my friends know, I am passionate about sustainability and I try my best to be a little greener one day at a time.
Over Christmas break, I had lots of time to reflect on 2018 and think about the changes I want to make in 2019. This past year, I had to opportunity to teach many people how to recycle correctly, but I want to expand my waste reduction efforts in 2019! Below are five resolutions I have made to reduce the amount of different kinds of waste I produce and lessen my environmental impact.
Resolution #1- Try a new transportation routine
The University of Mississippi offers several modes of transportation, so you don’t need to rely solely on your car to get around. This year, I am going to switch up my commute by using the O.U.T bus system to get around town and campus for free with my school I.D! Taking public transit instead of a single occupancy vehicle reduces your carbon footprint and conserves energy and also takes the stress and hassle out of finding a parking spot on campus.
I am also going to split my commute by biking. I do not own a bike, but I can rent a bike from the Ole Miss Bike Shop or use the Ole Miss bike share program. Riding your bike instead of taking your car is another way to reduce the amount of carbon emissions you produce. It is also is a great form of exercise and reduces the amount of wear and tear on your car, just make sure to follow the rules of the road!
Resolution #2 – Buy local
Oxford is home to a diverse group of farmers, artisans, chefs, and business owners. This year, I am going to make more of an effort to buy food and other items from local vendors instead of ordering them online or buying them in big supermarkets. The Oxford Community Market and Midtown Farmers Market will not open until April, but you can still buy fresh, local food from Chicory Market and the Neon Pig.
Buying local goods is important not only because it supports our community, but it also reduces the environmental impact of our food! The food that we buy from supermarkets is typically transported from a long distance, but buying locally produced food reduces the number of fossil fuels that power those methods of transit that get our food to us.
Resolution #3- Eat meatless meals at least one day a week
All of the food we eat has an environmental impact, and we can take steps to reduce that impact by opting for meatless meals. By eating meatless one day a week, a person can reduce the impact of their food choices and add a healthy boost to their diet. Curious about the impact of your food choices? Calculate your “foodprint”.
Worried about finding meatless meals on campus? Click here for an in-depth list of vegan and vegetarian food options on campus!
Resolution #4- Waste less, Rethink and Reuse more
I believe that recycling is important, but it is not the end-all solution to problems with waste and pollution. Reducing the amount of single-use containers one uses is an easy way to reduce the amount of waste that goes in the trash or recycling bin. Some easy ways you can reduce the amount of waste you produce include:
- Getting a reusable clamshell container from Rebel Market for your leftovers.
- Ditching single-use containers like water bottles and use a reusable bottle.
- Using reusable shopping bags and produce bags.
- Using reusable lunch containers instead of plastic zip-bags.
- Opting for glass or stainless steel products instead of plastic.
- Investing in a bamboo or stainless steel travel set of reusable dinnerware and straws.
Resolution #5- Get Involved
There are many sustainability-related events coming up in the Spring like the Big Event, an environmental film screening, a compost sift-a-thon, Green Week, and Arbor Day.
I also am looking forward to joining the UM Garden Club, where I can grow vegetables, fruits, and herbs to take home or donate to the UM Food Bank.
Want to follow my waste reduction journey this year? Follow the Office of Sustainability on Instagram @olemissgreen and tune into #TrashTalk!
Follow the Office of Sustainability on Facebook and Instagram @olemissgreen or subscribe to our office newsletter to stay updated on upcoming events.