8 Ways to be Sustainable in College
Living more sustainably can feel overwhelming, especially when you consider all the ways we could—and should—be more environmentally conscious. However, you don’t need to overhaul your entire lifestyle to make a difference. Even small changes can lead to positive outcomes.
A common misconception is that sustainability is expensive, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Simply being more mindful of how your choices impact the environment and adjusting accordingly can help. Think about what our world would look like if every person committed to making one small change in their daily lives.
8 Green Tips for Students
Whether you are living in a dorm, apartment, or house, here are simple, sustainable tips any college student can easily apply to their lives on- and off-campus. Here are 8 simple sustainability tips for college students:
- Be sure to unplug. Chargers and small appliances are a drain on power even when not in use. Cut down on wasted electricity—and money—by unplugging your devices when you aren’t using them.
- Avoid wasting water. Keep your water use to a minimum by turning off the faucet when you’re not using it.Don’t leave the water running while you brush your teeth or wash your face. Only do laundry when you have a full load and try to take shorter showers when you can.
- Ditch the Single-Use Plastics. Plastic pollution is a significant and ongoing problem worldwide, especially for our oceans and marine animals. You can make a difference by avoiding single-use plastics and opting for plastic alternatives instead, such as reusable water bottles or glass straws. Need to go shopping? Bring reusable bags instead of using plastic.
- Limit Your Paper Use. Avoid printing out papers unless absolutely necessary. Instead of paper towels, use reusable cloths when cleaning. Both of these small changes help lessen your environmental footprint.
- Thrift Shopping. Looking for household items, decorations, and furniture for your dorm or house? College towns are a great place to find hidden gems at the local thrift store. The same goes when you are looking to freshen up your wardrobe.
- Don’t Waste Food. On college campuses, it is predicted that around 22 million pounds of food are wasted each year.Be mindful of this and avoid loading up your tray with food you won’t eat. Start small and if you’re still hungry, go back for more.
- Get Involved. Want to make a difference among your peers? Join a green organization or environmental club to help raise awareness about the importance of sustainability on campus and beyond.
- Educate Yourself. You can take your passion for sustainability one step further by making it a part of your education. Take a class or even major in the field and make it your career. The world needs more environmentally conscious professionals and sustainability-related jobs are expected to see continued growth in the coming years.
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