Earth Day is Not Over: 10 Ways to Be Environmentally Conscious on Campus

Earth Day was this past Saturday, April 22, and many people participated in environmentally-conscious activities. This is great, but being green should not be limited to one day out of the year. Technically, every day is Earth Day, and we should all act like it. Here are 10 easy ways to be more environmentally-friendly on Auburn's campus: 

1. Recycle.

This is literally the easiest thing to do, especially on Auburn’s campus. For every trash can, there is at least one recycling bin. My roommates and I keep recycling bins in our dorm in order to not needlessly throw away things. Luckily, we have large recycling bins outside of our dorms so it easy to empty. Having this commodity on campus should give everyone reason to recycle! 

2. Take shorter showers.

This, also, is not difficult. Just because you cannot see water scarcity problems right in front of your own eyes, doesn’t mean they are not there. Many other countries are having serious problems with this. Also, Auburn is STILL in a drought, and this should be taken very seriously.

3. Don’t run the water in-between dishes.

People don’t realize, but a lot of water is wasted when washing dishes. There’s water running while you’re soaping up, scrubbing, rinsing, and then getting the next dish. All you actually need water for is the rinsing, and maybe a little bit at first to wet the soapy sponge. It might sound stingy, but it makes a difference, and it is definitely not that difficult. 

4. Buy less plastic.

A big problem in America is how much we waste. As a country, we produce roughly a third of the world's waste. This is why it is so important for America in particular to get on the green path, and find ways to reduce waste. One thing is to stop buying heavily packaged items. You can shop at farmer’s markets rather than grocery stores. 

5. Be a proud pedestrian.

One of my favorite things about Auburn is how pedestrian-friendly it is. There are crosswalks everywhere. Plus, campus and downtown are set up close enough that you can walk from Toomer’s corner to the Village in a mere 15 minutes. That is nothing compared to how far people walk in foreign countries on a daily basis.

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6. Use the War Eagle Bike Share!

You can use a bike for free that is decorated in Auburn colors. There is no reason to not use these. Plus you can get a cute insta moment with your friends on them. Biking is such a great way to get around while also getting exercise. You can probably get somewhere faster in Auburn on a bike than in a car due to the constant traffic. 

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7. Carpool.

Although Auburn's campus is easy to walk around, anywhere far off campus doesn’t typically have bike lanes or is just too far to walk/bike to. However, most of the time people go off campus, there is probably someone who needs to go out too, or they’re meeting up with friends. So carpool, people! A great thing to do is to have a GroupMe with the people who live around you, in a dorm or apartment, and post when you’re going to run errands. People in my dorm’s GroupMe often let others know when they’re going on a Wal-Mart or Target run.

8. Use the Tiger Transit.

It even has an app that tracks it. We are lucky to have easily accessible public transportation, so we should use it!

9. Shop local.

The Market at Blooming Colors is a farmer’s market located on S. Donahue and they sell locally grown fruits and vegetables and even organic foods. They are open Monday–Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday. There is also the Parkway Farmer’s Market and the Opelika Farmer’s Market in Opelika. These are just several of the markets, and they are also year-round, so convenient for students.

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10. Be conscientious.

Whenever you are making a decision, try to be conscientious about how you are doing it. Say you’re printing your paper and some notes for a class. Are you printing them double sided? Are you making your notes small print with small margins to save paper? Maybe you need to go to the Med Clinic to pick up a prescription. By the time you walked to your car and got there, wouldn’t it have taken just as little time to rent a bike and bike there? It’s the little things that count. 

We are fortunate to have a beautiful campus that allows us access to plenty of safe drinking water, chances to recycle, public transportation, and more. If we don't appreciate these things or work to help others gain access to them, then we are not fully living by the Auburn Creed.