When living on a college campus, the way to pursue an environmentally-friendly lifestyle is often not at the forefront of our minds. However, there is a myriad of small things we can do that takes little to no effort at all - we just need to become more aware of the ramifications of our daily actions. Here is a list of 9 minor but effective acts you can employ into your everyday life on campus.
1.No lids, no problems
Ask the cashier at Starbucks to not add a lid to your coffee next time you make an order - the less plastic we consume individually, the better!
2. Throw your trash and recyclable objects in the correct bins.
This one sounds like a no-brainer, but it is crazy the number of times I have seen plastic thrown in a normal garbage bin!
3. Unplug everything - especially your chargers!
Chargers continuously draw power when they are plugged in, even when they are not actively charging your phone or laptop. Although the amount taken could be small (usually around 0.25 Watts of energy), every bit adds up if this is a careless act you perform every day.
4. Buy products with less plastic
Although I know it is sometimes difficult to be extremely cautious of your plastic consumption on a college budget when you have the opportunity to choose individual apples that are on the shelf instead of grapes in a plastic container aim to take it! Often times the food with less packaging will be healthier for you anyways.
5. Bring your own bags.
When making a purchase at a local market or store, remember to bring your own reusable bag. This will ensure that you don’t use unnecessary plastic bags that you’ll later want to throw out anyway!
6. Turn off the water while shampooing!
This is something that many don’t think to do, yet is very simple. While showering, turn off the water when you are doing things that do not include the use of water. This could include the time spent while shampooing, conditioning, or shaving.
7. Eat less meat
When considering the environmental impacts of meat, environmentalists often focus on red meat: the meat that comes from cows. Cows produce a greenhouse gas called methane that, when released into the atmosphere, contributes to the increasing problem of climate change.
8. Print Less!
We all face this struggle: our annoyance with our professors who make us print out ungodly amounts of paper for annotation credit. However, when possible to avoid, do not print. Rather than printing out a 20 paged Biology 200 study guide, study from your laptop or a computer at the library. Not only is this better for the environment, it will save you a bit of money as well!
9. Join environmental groups on campus.
College campuses are the hub for all innovative and creative ideas. Most campuses will have one to multiple environmental organizations that you can join to help make your campus a more earth-friendly one!