How To Help The Environment In College
Politics and Activism

10 Ways To Go Green In College, And Maybe Save A Little Green Too

Because we can all use a little more green.

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Daria Shevtsova

A lot of college-aged students are very conscious about how they affect the environment, and how they affect their wallets. Here are 10 ways that you can help the environment while at college, and how you might help your wallet a little too.

1. Use a reusable water bottle.

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No, it does not have to be a Hydroflask, but a cheap water bottle from Walmart will be a life saver to the planet and your wallet. You won't have to spend money on plastic water bottles every week and you don't have to worry about using too many plastic or paper cups at the dining hall.

2. Bring a reusable bag to the store.

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Canvas tote bags are sold for pretty cheap at the checkout line of most grocery stores, so try picking one or two up. Since you're only shopping for yourself, you can probably fit it all in one tote, plus you'll be reducing the number of plastic bags that are being used. Also, since some states charge a tax for each paper or plastic bag you use, you'll save yourself some extra coin.

3. Take notes on your laptop.

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I know the debate on whether or not laptops are "environmentally friendly" is still ongoing, especially because of what happens to them after we're done using them, but, you can help save some trees by taking your notes in class on a laptop. It will greatly reduce the number of notebooks and loose leaf paper that you use and will save you the money from buying them.

4. Order out less.

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I know this one is difficult because caf food is straight up nasty, but try. When you order out food, it usually comes with a lot more one-use packaging than when you go out to eat. Plus, you'll save more money. If you really want to eat out, try finding somewhere close by that you can walk to.

5. Don't take the flyers if you're not interested.

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There seems to always be that person standing out in the cold passing out flyers on your way to class. And, if you're anything like me, you always take one with a smile because you want to be a nice person. Try not taking them. These pieces of paper usually end up at the bottom of your bag and are just thrown out when you finally clean it out at the end of the semester. Or worse, they end up on the ground 5 feet from the person handing them out. Just politely decline and save the earth.

6. Don't print out everything for class.

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I know the urge to print out all of the syllabuses and readings is strong but try to avoid it. Most professors don't care if you use your laptop in class, so take advantage. Try only printing out the stuff you NEED to.

7. Put plants in your dorm.

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Dorm room air is stale as all hell, so try buying a couple of low-maintenance plants (like succulents) and putting them around your room. They're super cute, they can make your room feel homier, and they're great for the environment.

8. Have a place for recycling in your dorm.

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Dorm room air is stale as all hell, so try buying a couple of low-maintenance plants (like succulents) and putting them around your room. They're super cute, they can make your room feel homier, and they're great for the environment.

9. Buy and use Tupperware.

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If you find yourself swiping food from the caf or bringing snacks to class, try buying some Tupperware. Nothing big, it really just has to be one or two pieces (preferably glass, they hold up longer than the plastic and are better for the environment). Throw them in your bag to hold your stolen food or class snacks. You'll use less plastic bags and plastic wraps, so you won't be spending as much.

10. Buy online textbooks.

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Make sure that your professors are okay with laptops being used in class, but if they are, try buying online textbooks. Online textbooks help to reduce the amount of paper used by a lot since most textbooks can be up to 300 pages long. Also, since companies don't have to spend the money to print and distribute the book, you'll save too.

I know some of these aren't possible for everyone, but whatever little thing you can do to help does make a difference.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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