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Five Ways to be Environmentally Friendly in College

Simply believing in climate change is not enough to actually help the environment. Taking steps to reduce your carbon footprint, no matter how small or silly these steps may seem, is doing more for the environment than sitting idly by is. Do not sit back and watch as nature is destroyed by your habits! Be proactive and innovative with your sustainability attempts. Check out these five easy ways to reduce YOUR carbon footprint!

1. Alter your driving habits

While not all college students own cars, those who do drive often should consider walking when possible in order to reduce carbon emissions. It isn’t realistic to expect a car-owner to abandon their vehicle, but it also isn’t unreasonable to walk to a destination if it is more than a couple of minutes away. Skip the ten-second drive to Walgreens and grab a friend to walk you there instead.​

2. Buy a reusable water bottle

I don’t think I can walk one minute on campus without spotting the gargantuan reusable water bottles my peers sport. Often covered in an assortment of stickers, these water bottles are notorious for taking six years to fill at the filling stations across campus. If your college has a filling station, use it! Ditch the plastic water bottles and embrace the numerous reusable water bottle brands that seek to nourish the environment.

3. Invest in a reusable shopping bag

How many more trips will you take to Goodwill before you realize that the six plastic bags holding your treasured finds are hurting the environment? Reusable shopping bags are affordable and significantly less damaging to our ecosystem. These bags come in various sizes, which is considerably more reassuring than watching a bagger cram your sixteen boxes of mac and cheese into one tiny plastic bag. An added bonus is that the majority of reusable bags are trendy, so feel free to customize yours with pins or patches!

4. Turn your assortment of dorm lights off

College students are always unusually proud to show off each and every Christmas light hung up to add flavor to a living arrangement. Remembering to unplug these lights when no one is home to appreciate them is without a doubt the best way to truly complete the aesthetic.

5. Utilize your resources

Filling stations, recycle bins, donation bins…these are some of the resources already offered to students on a typical college campus. Instead of taking these environmentally conscious resources for granted, take advantage of them! Perhaps the biggest resources available to those who care about sustainability is the growing number of farmer’s markets and sustainable clothing brands in business. Supporting these businesses a key component in living a more conscious lifestyle.

An English and Communications Major who is passionate about creating and reading literature.
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