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What You Can Do for The Environment Today, as an English Language Student. 

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Even the smallest changes can have a huge impact, so start with one thing and take it from there. We all know that the first step is the hardest. We first learn to walk and later we learn to run, etc. There are a thousand examples of this with all saying the same message: to begin, just make a start. Below are six easy examples that you can start doing TODAY! That’s how simple it is.

EC Cape Town's English students on safari.

1. Buy a reusable coffee cup 

Our first point is a small change with a massive impact. Buy a reusable coffee cup and bring that to your local cafe. Over one billion coffee cups needlessly end up in landfill every year. Creating not only a pointless waste that will take hundreds of years to decompose, but also creating a demand for paper, and therefore cutting down trees. We all know how much people love coffee, and all our EC schools either have a cafe in the building or next door. So, start bringing your reusable cups in there with you. In EC Malta, our local cafes are now well adjusted to staff and students bringing their own cups, and they welcome it! Some places will discount the cost of your coffee for doing so! 

2.Take notes electronically

These days, our schools are equipped with touch screen TVs and/or interactive whiteboards, which already reduces paper-based teaching materials in our English classes. EC’s online English level test is also entirely digital. Considering that most students use a laptop or tablet for studying, why not use it to takes notes too? Not only will the programmes you use help you spell correctly as you take notes but it’s another useful step to reduce your paper consumption. You’ll have all your notes in one place so they can’t get lost and you’ll save money on not buying notebooks. Easy! 

EC Malta's classrooms with interactive whiteboards.

3. Say “no” to single-use plastic

When buying your fruits and vegetables, they don’t need a plastic bag. Say “no”. When your bringing groceries home from the supermarket, use a bag-for-life or a cotton reusable bag, or indeed, your rucksack. Say “no” to plastic bags. Most supermarkets now incur a fee if you do wish to use one so save yourself money and help the environment by bringing your own. At a takeaway or cafe, say “no” to plastic cutlery and request the real thing. Oh, and plastic straws? You guessed it. Say “no”! Say “no” and instead, start saying “yes” to being more conscious, to remembering to put a bag in your rucksack or handbag when you go out. Easy! 

4. Walk or use a bike

We choose our accommodation options to be within a reasonable walking or cycling distance from the schools. This has quite a few benefits! The first, is that it saves you money and time on public transport. The second, is that it encourages you to get some fresh air and exercise. The third is that by cutting down on car usage and the environment will give you a big “thank you” for doing so! 

English students at EC Oxford

5. Use a refillable water bottle

This one will help cut down even further on plastic consumption, and of ten also save you money as more and more places now have drinking fountains for you to refill your bottle. You will find them in cafes, public parks and spaces, airportstrain stations and in some of our schools, EC Dublin, for example.. About 22 billion plastic bottles end up in landfill each year as 91% of plastic still in being recycled. This needs to change, for the good of all and for our futures. You can start with this, and please encourage your friends to do so too! 

6. Conserve energy by turning off

The title of this point says everything. When leaving a room, turn off the lights and electronics. When you’re finished working or watching TV, turn off your computer, the monitor, everything. It makes sense that if you’re not using something, turn it off. Additionally, swap the light bulbs in your home for energy saving bulbs. They save you money on your electricity bill too!

Walking from EC Brisbane by night

With these six simple steps, you’ll be making great start to helping the world we live in today. The environment needs all the help it can get right now and we can all do our fair share. Educate friends with these points and maybe you know a few others that we can add to the list. Please let us know if you do!

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