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Tips on reducing waste include reducing fossil fuel use and recycling

A close-up shot of a variety of plastic bottles and cans being used for recycling.
Collecting bottles and cans for recycling is one way to reduce waste.


Reducing waste means being aware of how our actions will affect the natural environment, says Kumuwaiwai Center for Sustainability Student Supervisor Leslie Harper. He shared different ways students affect their carbon output including the amount of food, gas and electricity they use. “The goal is to reduce our carbon footprint,” he added, which is the amount of carbon output necessary for a person to function.

Reducing food waste

  • Grow your own food at the Kumuwaiwai Center for Sustainability farm (bring your own seeds to plant)
  • When you’re at the cafeteria, don’t serve yourself any more than you can eat
  • Kimberly Aromata, a senior from Kiribati majoring in political science and sustainability worker, said leftover or discarded food can be used to feed the pigs and chickens at the Kumuwaiwai Center for Sustainability’s farm

Reducing trash waste

  • Collect plastic, cardboard and drink bottles
  • Aromata said you can separate recyclables and place them in the recycle bins outside of the hales

Reducing electrical and gas usage

  • Use air conditioning only when you need to
  • Instead of driving, bike, take the bus or walk
  • Turn off the lights in your dormitory when you aren't using them

Reduce, reuse, recycle

  • Ezek Dollete, a BYU–Hawaii alumni from the Philippines, said instead of throwing away old bikes, you can donate them to the sustainability farm to be fixed in exchange for service
  • “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” added Aromata
  • Sell unused items on Facebook Marketplace or BYU–Hawaii’s Buy N Sell Facebook Page

Reducing your carbon footprint

Determine your carbon footprint using the website footprintcalculator.org. The website has users answer multiple questions regarding their energy use (food, gas, electricity) to determine a person’s carbon output or the amount of energy they use.