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My Blog on College Sustainability, by Work Experience student Matthew Bradley

Today’s world is facing a huge threat from Climate Change and is endangering the planet’s habitat and wildlife.

Climate Change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. These shifts may be natural but, since the 1800s, human activities have been the main driver of Climate Change, primarily due to the burning of fossil fuels (like coal, oil and gas), which produces heat-trapping gases. Every single effort counts to slow down the process, either big or small. This can be done by you and our College can work as a community to slow down Climate Change.

What We Have Done

York College has already made significant progress. We have increased the amount of recycling bins on Campus, worked with partners to maintain and increase the number of plants and animals on Campus and we have also changed our lighting to LED light bulbs which are more energy efficient.

Your Actions Help, Too! Switch It Off!

York College has helped to slow down the daunting process of Climate Change, but your actions can additionally help. Light pollution is a huge factor affecting the world. It has been estimated that 83% of the world's people live under light-polluted skies and that 23% of the world's land area is affected by skyglow. 90% of the energy they use is given off as heat, and only about 10% results in light. Turning lights off will also keep a room cooler, an extra benefit in the summer. Can you switch off lights at the end of the day and when rooms are not in use? This can help to reduce the amount of energy used overall and helps us to be less conditional on oil and gas.

Recycling More!

Another way that you can help reduce the impact of Climate Change in the future is to place waste in the appropriate bins and recycle wherever possible. This can help us become more sustainable because waste can be dealt with in better ways which makes better use of the materials it contains. Did you know that around 13 billion plastic bottles are disposed of each year? By using a refillable water bottle, you can help to bring this figure down and there would be fewer plastic bottles in our ocean affecting marine life and contaminating the ocean waters.

The numbers are staggering: There are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean. Of that mass, 269,000 tons float on the surface, while some four billion plastic microfibers per square kilometre litter the deep sea. Scientists call these statistics the "wow factor" of ocean trash.

Respect Our Environment

A third way to support the natural environment at York College is to pick up litter around Campus and put it in the allocated bins. This helps us as a community to become more sustainable, as animals on campus - such as squirrels and rabbits – do not need dangerous plastic or metal around them. They could easily mistake it for food and choke causing harm to them.