3 Ways to Create a More Sustainable Campus

3 Ways Universities Can Create a More Sustainable Campus

Most college students want to reduce waste and help the environment, but many universities are lagging behind.

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If students really want to help the environment, it's time to get their universities on board to make some drastic changes. Here are three big ways universities can help create a more environment-friendly and sustainable campus.

Go Solar

Using solar power instead of fossil fuels for energy is a great way to create a more sustainable campus. However, students aren't in the position to install solar panels on their homes, apartments, and dorms. But universities have the resources and money to install solar panels around campus and on on-campus housing. Solar panels are an investment, but they pay off because they can eliminate the cost of electricity. They also require little to no maintenance and last for decades. It's time for universities to bite the bullet and finally go solar for a more sustainable campus.

Reduce Plastic Use

More and more cities (and countries) across the world are eliminating disposable, one-time use plastics. A college campus is a fantastic, small scale environment full of forward thinking individuals that want to reduce plastic use. So if universities vow to eliminate or reduce plastic use, students will feel even more motivated to follow suit. Not only does reducing plastic use help protect the environment, but it will leave the campus much cleaner because there won't be as much littering the grounds.

Start Incentive Programs

Universities can't force all students to abide by strict, environment-friendly rules. But they can give incentives for environment-friendly behaviors. For example, if you collect a bag of plastic to recycle, you can turn it in for some sort of prize. Universities could also provide incentives for students who ride their bikes, walk, or take public transportation to class. This will reduce the number of people who drive their own cars to class, which will help reduce harm on the environment.

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I Turned 21 And Gave Up Alcohol For Lent

Since I am now 21, I chose to give up alcohol; it was pretty eye-opening.

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I had a very monumental birthday not too long ago. I am the youngest of my friend group, so turning 21 was an even bigger deal. I am also Catholic so when Lent came around I was trying to think of something to give up that would be a real challenge. For over 40 days, I gave alcohol up cold turkey. This is not to say I had a problem or anything, but I definitely enjoy a good beer with my dinner. Giving up alcohol would be something rewarding and would make me think about my choices.

1. I was able to drive no matter what!

The eternal question "Who is going to be the driver?" was not an issue with me around. I was happy to drop people off at the bars, pick them up at odd hours of the day, or if I went over to friend's house, I was able to leave at any time I wanted — what can I say, I love sleeping! It was huge to me, I knew everyone was home safe and sound with me driving. I was so excited to

2. You Do Not Need Alcohol to Have Fun

I went to the Chancy Williams and the Younger Brother's Band concert. They are incredible (if you have never heard them, listen to all their music! I am an unofficial spokesperson.) I had so much fun at that concert and what was even better, I was able to remember the entire concert easily! I was able to enjoy every second of the entire night! I got to be present with my friends and that is what college is all about!

3. Energy for Days!

No hangovers, no throwing up, and the next day was full of great activities! I was able to go outside and enjoy my day! It felt like getting a whole extra day to the weekend! Who can complain about that?

Although I like a good beer at the end of the day, after my Lenten sacrifice, I might just pass up on the pilsners and ales from here on out.

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3 Ways You Can Save Money as a Young Adult

Whether you're in college or trying to make it out in the "real world", it's important to save money in any way you can.

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Don't fall into a hole of debt as a young adult. Start making smart financial decisions and save money from the get-go. Here are some simple ways you can start saving money.

Start Budgeting

The most important thing you can do to save money is to start budgeting. Create a budget where you can lay out on paper how much you're making, how much you have to spend on necessities (rent, groceries, gas), and see how much is left. From what is left over, determine how much you should be saving per month. If you can save 25% of your paycheck, that's a great way to start an emergency fund. However, many people who are just starting out can't save that much, so just do what you can. Have a set amount of money per month for non-essentials and pleasure, such as eating out at nice restaurants, going to events, etc. By sticking to your budget, you won't fall into debt and you'll be saving at least a little bit of your income each month.

Make Smart Investments

It may seem difficult to start thinking about investing money when you don't have a ton to begin with, but you can start small and work your way up. Investing money will allow you to start making a passive income down the line, which means you'll be saving money without working any extra. You can make investments in the stock market, or by purchasing things that will save you money directly. For example, you could invest in solar panels which will end up saving you a ton of money down the line on utilities.

Pay Off Your Debt 

Many young adults are in debt, especially if they went to college and had to take out student loans. The key to not falling even deeper in the hole is by paying off your debt as fast as possible. This may mean you need to cut out some pleasure purchases such as a trip to Europe or even just not going out to dinner often. The faster you can pay off debt, the more money you'll save by not paying interest on your credit cards or student loans down the line.

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