With Earth Day approaching, and the concept of sustainability increasing, here are some ways you can go green on campus!
Reusable Water bottles
Reusable water bottles are a great way to reduce waste while saving money! Instead of spending $3-5 dollars per plastic water bottle, you can bring your own to class. Plus, there are plenty of spots to refill your water bottle on campus- in nearly every building including dorms, the Student Union, and the Rec center. Reusable water bottles are also super fun because you can personalize them by adding stickers related to BGSU, or other interests. Also at certain Starbucks locations (restrictions apply), you can bring in your Starbucks cup for them to fill with whatever drink you order- you also get 5 cents off your beverage, which could add up over time if you frequent Starbucks!
This is another fun, sustainable item that you can personalize! Tote bags come in all sorts of sizes, colors, and patterns. Currently, I’ve been loving my Chamberlain Coffee tote as it’s multi-purposeful! I’ve been carrying it around campus filled with things from groceries from the markets to my laptop and books to work on homework away from my dorm. I think that this is an excellent alternative to the paper or plastic bags that I may have used in the past.
Although Bowling Green is notorious for its windy weather and harsh winters, in the fall and spring it’s a beautiful time to soak up some sunshine outside. Biking is a great way to get to class if you live off campus or have a further walking commute to class. BGSU has numerous bike racks near each building on campus for you to safely store away your bike while in class! Riding a bike is not only great for your physical and mental health, but also for the environment as it doesn’t emit pollution or greenhouse gases as do cars.
Sustainable products may be less thought of, but nonetheless very important. Things you use in your everyday life may be able to be swapped for a more sustainable product. Examples include recycled material notebooks and writing utensils for class. You can also purchase actual dishes and silverware in your dorm/apartment instead of plasticware and paper plates, cups, or bowls. Or, bring reusable containers for leftovers to the dining halls when allowed. In terms of toiletries, you can swap out typical makeup wipes or cotton rounds for a washable cloth makeup remover. Bamboo toothbrushes can be found in most stores, too. Sometimes these products may seem pricy, but instead of settling on the cheaper option think about what those decisions will lead to in the long run.
When I first came to campus I was decently surprised with how many opportunities for recycling I was presented with. Each dorm room has a garbage can and recycling bin to go sort plastics/cardboard. And most buildings have garbage cans with a recycling bin directly next to them with labels indicating what qualifies as recyclable. This makes me, and other students feel more inclined to recycle as it’s so easily accessible. Another thing I like is Campus ReStore, which is a pop-up thrift store available to students and faculty. Thrifting is a great, inexpensive way to give old items a new life. Finally, there are plenty of student organizations here on campus that you may share similar goals, ideas, and motivations with- find what’s a best fit for you and you can go take action on a larger scale, and really see a difference in the community.
Overall, living sustainably is great for the environment and has so many other benefits. It can be daunting at first to try and live this way as a college student on a college campus, but it’s actually easier than you may think. By implementing these small habits into your lifestyle, you can help protect our planet and inspire others around you to do the same! Happy Earth Day!