By Clara Ruth West

I know, I know – when you hear “sustainability,” you probably roll your eyes. Today’s culture seems to be OBSESSED with going green and being environmentally friendly. And if you’re like me, you’re interested in learning more about sustainability, but you would want it in “layman’s terms.” This is where I come in.

Let’s talk sustainability.

So… what is it exactly?

Sustainability is the quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, thereby supporting long-term ecological balance. We’re here for a long time, so we need to be kind to our planet.

*Cues rolling eyes again*

Don’t let me lose you – I understand that sustainability can be a foreign and unwanted topic. Many people have a negative attitude toward it because there are “those people” who tend to wear the topic out.

I’m here to approach it from a different angle – an angle of understanding as a fellow college student.

So, let’s be real. Sustainability is hard for several reasons – resources, lack of knowledge and time.


No matter how we want to approach it, sustainability is expensive. If your area or school doesn’t provide free ways to dispose of recyclable material, it can cost you time, money and effort.

Recycling centers aren’t always in the most convenient locations, and it’s also more expensive to buy “Earth-friendly” items.

College students are on budgets, but thankfully, Baylor has multiple places on campus to help make this process a little easier. Take a look at this map to find Baylor’s  recycling centers.


Photo by Brooke Cagie from Unsplash

I am trying to balance Sing performances, intramural games, volunteer services hours and graduate school applications. I don’t feel like I have enough room in my head or in my schedule to set aside to call my mom, much less give any consideration to sustainable practices.

To make it easier, I found this article that provides 15 easy ways students can go green.

Lack of Knowledge

When we don’t know what the problems are, how can we be expected to know how to contribute to the solution – that can be annoying. But instead of seeing it as an annoyance, read a little and give a little. Look at sustainability as another way to give back.

Baylor Sustainability says, “In accordance with its Christian mission and vision, Baylor University strives to be a community that fulfills its calling as stewards of God’s gift of creation.” They have even provided a list of 10 ways to be more sustainable on campus and have a blog where they keep track of their sustainability efforts.

I’m not asking you to completely change your way of life to meet crazy expectations, but I am asking you to put a little more thought into the choices you make. Buy better brands, skip the meat every few days, save those pizza and cereal boxes for the recycling bin. There are tons of easy ways to be better friends with the Earth – so let’s do it together.