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Jun 09

20 Things You Can Do to be More Eco-Friendly at College

library - eco-friendly at collegeYou must agree that saving the planet is not only Bruce Willis’ pain in the neck, at least when there is no gigantic asteroid on a collision course with Earth. However, being eco-friendly doesn’t take as much time and efforts as it seems. Even if you are busy with your studies and devote all your time to college, there are still small habits you can adopt that can actually make your life more environmentally friendly. Here are some tips to get you started:
 
Green your dormitory

It is highly likely that you have to purchase most of your dorm room essentials yourself. And this is your chance to make sustainable choices.

1)  Instead of wasting money on fancy items, invest into durable furniture. It will last longer and, in addition to saving forests, such furniture will save you some good bucks on fixing.

2) Use fluorescent or LED light bulbs that give favorable light to your eyes and use less energy than regular ones.

3) Buy a houseplant to get rid of indoor pollution in a natural way. And it is a great sustainable decoration!
 
Power down

4) Try to keep heating in your room reasonable to save energy. If you feel cold, one more blanket or wear a sweater.

5) Also, turn off your computer and unplug the electrical appliances – this way you can reduce energy use to 40%. If you need to buy new appliances, look for Energy-Star-rated items.
 
Cut back on water consumption

Water resource is our most important treasure, so respect it.

6) Take shorter showers and close the faucet when brushing your teeth or shaving. Don’t have water running when doing dishes as well.

7) Report leaky pipes and showerheads, this way you can help saving between 40 and 90 gallons of water every day.

8) When doing laundry, use products containing the least amount of chemicals, so you won’t pollute environment with drain water.
 
Embrace a healthier diet

We aren’t talking about diets to get slim or anything like that. Any food you eat has its impact on a planet and it is your responsibility to choose more eco-friendly products or curb on meat consumption.

9) Don’t buy more food than you need and don’t cook more than you are able to eat. A good strategy to reduce food waste could be cooperation with your roommate.

10) Keep an eye out for food that comes from cans or contains GMO. This way you not only reduce energy waste for such foods production, but also keep your health better. Opt for locally grown, organic fruit, vegetables and herbs.

Of course, changing one’s eating habits isn’t an easy task, but with Harvard’s tips for sustainable eating you can set a good start.
 
Drink from tap

Make it your routine to refill your water bottle right from the tap rather than buying drinks throughout the day. It not only saves a big bite of your student budget, but also prevents the pile-up of unnecessary plastic and water waste. Did you know that it takes 1.5 liters of fresh water to make one liter of bottled water?

11) Bring your own mug to the coffee shop as well. Some coffee shops even give customers certain discounts or gifts for using own cups.
 
Set “greener” study process

Students spend most of their time in classrooms and libraries, so it is crucial to keep the learning process eco-friendly as well.

12) When looking for school supplies, opt for eco-friendly versions. For example, you can choose corn pens or notebooks made from recycled paper.

13) Buy fewer books or check them out from libraries. If you need a personal copy, try to get black-and-white, paperback one. Also, search for online textbooks to keep your study greener and save money as well.

14) When print or photocopy, use both sides of the paper. Save pages you’ve printed to use again or reuse them as scratch paper.

15) Edit on screen, not on pages. Experts from Australian writings, which claims to be one of Australian leading student services, advice using online plagiarism and grammar-check applications prior to printing the works on paper. This allows eliminating typos and fixing other errors and of course, reducing paper usage.

16) If it is okay with your professor, submit assignment in a digital form or via email.
 
Stop littering

It sounds pretty straightforward: don’t be a pig. Whether it’s a small trash or an apple stump, it still impacts our environment.

17) Sort out your garbage properly. First off, the waste is recycled in different way, so you will save time and efforts of waste-collecting company if you sort it out at home. Secondly, it is important that you do not put hazardous or electronic wastes into the landfills. This kind of garbage may cause pollution to groundwater or react to cause fire in recycling collections.

18) Start a Litter committee. Each week you and your friends can pick up all the litter at campus yard and throw it into the garbage bins. This way you will keep your college area clean and learn some environmental lessons.
 
Be eco-friendly on the go

If you get driven to college every day, come to think about how much air pollution and oil consumption the transport causes. Why don’t you try bicycling or walking to the campus?

19) If you choose bicycling, don’t buy a brand-new bicycle. You can find a gently maintained used one on a Craigslist or buy it from senior student.

20) If the only way you can get to college is by car, consider cooperating with your mates. You can share one car and go to the campus together instead of driving a few of them separately.

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