Living on a college campus means that everything is easy to access and convenient. Too often this convenience leads students to become wasteful and thoughtless about their impact on the environment. Instead of producing more garbage and wasting energy, consider taking a green approach. Here are 5 ways for college students to be environmentally friendly on campus.
- Since college students aren’t responsible for paying their electric bills, many disregard their use of lights and electronics. However, using unnecessary energy is wasteful and increases your carbon footprint tremendously. Get in the habit of turning off equipment, lights, computers and other electronics when you are not in the room and when you aren’t using them. These simple changes in your daily habits can help save a watt and make your campus greener.
- When eating in the dining hall, avoid the to-go trays and containers. While these are convenient when you are running to class or back to your dorm, only use them when necessary. Disposable utensils, plates and bowls are really bad for the environment and get thrown away after one use. If you have to use them, try recycling whenever possible. If you can, the best option is to eat in the dining hall and use reusable plates and metal forks that can be washed and used again. This reduces your waste and is a more sustainable practice.
- At the end of a semester, often students have lots of old items or even furniture that they no longer have use for. All too often you will see tons of these items stack in the dumpsters around campus. Sadly many of these items are in good condition and the owners simply have no more use for them. Instead of throwing them away as trash, consider recycling them by giving them to an underclassmen, donating them to a Good Will store, or even selling them on Craigslist to earn a few extra bucks and get the items off of your hands.
- Get involved on campus. Often campuses will have an environmental club. If they don’t already have one, consider getting some friends together to start one! This is a great way to spread awareness about eco-friendly habits and daily choices so that the campus as a whole can make strides towards maintaining an environmentally friendly campus. Plus, your college or university will appreciate this and will likely help you out since many campuses are striving to go green to improve their business practices and improve the reputation and appearance of the school.
- Finally, talk to your dining services about making green choices in the dining hall. Your school can go green by buying local or organic foods. This is good for the environment, student health, as well as the local farming economy. In addition, your dining services can make a difference by switching to energy efficient light bulbs and low-flow water dispensers.
Whether you are majoring in environmental studies, psychology or an online masters in social work, your efforts do make a difference! Making any or all of these changes can have a huge impact, helping you to reduce your waste. In addition, you can spread eco-friendly awareness throughout campus to make a meaningful difference and inspire others to make mindful, smart choices throughout their day and in their daily routines.