Because you are getting ready to leave for college, you may think you have to leave your green ideals behind. This couldn’t be further from the truth! There are dozens of ways you can be eco-friendly while living on your college campus. Here are ten of them:
Recycling is incredibly popular today so chances are your dorm will have recycling bins. If they don’t, however, talk to your resident advisor about starting a recycling program. Use travel mugs, refillable bottles and dishes rather than paper plates, and encourage others to do the same.
2. Add Your Own Bulbs
Any great “What to Bring to College” list will tell you that you need to purchase a desk lamp. Be sure that the bulb you choose for the lamp is a compact florescent one. Take a few bulbs with you and exchange the bulbs in your room’s light fixtures with energy efficient bulbs.
3. Turn It Off
Take along a surge protector and plug your computer and all of its peripherals into it. When you aren’t using your computer, make sure the surge protector is switched off to prevent energy leakage.
4. Leave the Microwave at Home
You’ll be able to find plenty of places to heat up your dinner or pop your popcorn. Leave your microwave at home, sitting right next to your mini-fridge. Dorm-sized appliances are huge energy hogs, leave them at home!
5. Decorate Second-Hand
Decorating your dorm room is one of the guilty pleasures of every college student. Rather than buying new items, cruise through your local flea market and buy second hand goods. Not only will you keep items out of landfills, but you’ll give your dorm room a sort of boho-chic.
6. Stay on Your Feet
Many college campuses do not allow freshman to park their cars on campus in an effort to save space. Even if you college does allow for student parking, leave the car at home. Walk or bike to class and count that time as part of your daily workout.
7. Join a Group
Colleges have hundreds of student groups that you can join. Look for one that is centered around your passion! A group that promotes recycling, one that helps others reduce their dependency on energy or even a group that works to save shelter animals may be just the thing you’re looking for.
8. Shopping Bags
Pack along your favorite reusable shopping bags. You can use these for bookstore purchases or those weekend trips to the convenience store. By using reusable bags, you’ll cut down on the amount of pollution that plastic production can cause.
9. Turn Off the Air
Air conditioners are notorious energy hogs. Invest in a window fan or head to the student union on a particularly hot day.
10. Cleaning Supplies
You’ll want to keep your room neat and tidy, after all, it’s a very small space! Make your own cleaning products out of vinegar, baking soda or even vodka.
There’s no reason you have to leave your green ideals at home when you head off to school. With a bit of know-how, you can continue to live in an environmentally friendly manner. And, who knows? You may even inspire others to do the same.
George Franklin is a writer and student earning his master in project management online.