Hug a tree this Earth Day. Photo courtesy of snre. Licensed under CC BY-2.0.
Friday is Earth Day! It comes around every year on April 22nd and in order to celebrate great mother earth, I’m going to give you a few easy tips to be ecofriendly on campus. Sometimes you might find it a little challenging to stay green while at school. You’ve got too much stuff to worry about, and plus, it’s not like you really have any control over the energy use of your entire dorm building. You can’t go replacing all of the dorm light bulbs with more energy efficient ones. However, you can start building ecofriendly habits that will help the environment, even when it’s not Earth Day.
This is a no brainer. You should make a habit of recycling anything that can be recycled. Old notes and tests, water bottles, and the now-empty boxes that your mother sent you stuffed of goodies. If your university doesn’t provide you with a recycling bin for your room, either request one or spend a couple bucks and get a separate bin for your recyclable stuff. It’s a small thing for you to remember to do that can make a difference.
My sophomore year of college, a group of students was concerned that the university didn’t offer glass recycling. So they got together and organized a new glass recycling program that was entirely student-run. If your school doesn’t offer certain types of recycling, take the initiative at your school to make the planet just a little bit better.
This is another really basic step that is super easy to do. When you’re not in the room, just turn the lights out. It’s that simple, and yet it amazes me at how often my suitemates and roommates just leave the lights and fan going when they’ve left the room. Not only does this help conserve energy, but once you’ve moved out of the dorms, conserving energy by just turning out the lights will help keep your electricity bills down. Every time you leave your room, double check to make sure all your lights are out. It will eventually become second nature.
Plastic water bottles are a huge, huge pet peeve of mine. What is the point of an individual bottle of water that you are only going to use once? I don’t care if it’s been filtered a billion times or comes from the rarest, purest streams of the Alps. It’s water. Get over yourself.
Reusable plastic water bottles or canisters are a great way to cut down your consumption of plastic water bottles. You can have it with you all the time, you don’t have to pay for it but once, and you won’t have to worry about recycling it when you’re done. If you’re a serious tap water phobic, keep a filtering pitcher in your fridge. You’ll still get your filtered water but without filling up the earth with plastic bottles.
What other tips do you have to be ecofriendly on campus? Let us know in the comments!