How to be Green at College

Endless coffee cups, thousands of plastic water bottles piled up in your room, and 12 classes of wasted syllabus paper later, you've successfully done the opposite of going green. Sometimes it can be hard to be environmentally friendly at college, but follow these tips to participate in the Go Green movement as much as you can!

Bring your own coffee cup. Many coffee shops will actually fill your own reusable coffee cup, and oftentimes they'll charge you less. Dunkin' Donuts, for example, does this. If you don't have a reusable cup, make sure not to ask for a Styrofoam cup to hold your iced coffee cup in. Styrofoam is really bad for the environment, as it isn't biodegradable. 

Double-side your printing! Before you print your 30 page research paper, make sure to click "print on both sides." This will decrease the amount of paper you're using by half. If at all possible, try to un-bold any bolded text, as this will also use up less ink!

Sometimes before classes even start, we decide to print out our professors' 45 page syllabi. Most of the time, we don't even need most of these pages. Take those extra pages (right away, if you know you don't need them, or wait until the end of the semester) and either cut them up to make scrap paper, or cut the 8 1/2 x 11 inch papers in half and use some glue to create your own recycled notepad! Here's a super cool tutorial on how to achieve this!

One of the most obvious and easy ways to go green is to use reusable water bottles. We know that sometimes as a busy college student, plastic water bottles are the most convenient. Try to get your hands on a reusable one, but if not, make sure to RECYCLE those Poland Springs bottles! One easy trick is to take the cap off of your water bottle, crumple it up, put the cap back on, and then put it in the recycling bin. This will take up so much less room in the recycling, making it so you are saving plastic trash bags, as well as making your life easier, because now you have to bring out the recycling less often!

With access to an all-you-can-eat buffet of various foods at college dining halls, sometimes its hard to resist all of the delicious options. Take only what you'll eat - you can always go up for seconds! About 40% of all food in the United States ends up as waste. If we start small by making sure you finish all that's on our plate, we are contributing to a bigger cause. 

Going grocery shopping? Carpool. Plan a day to go with your friends so you're not wasting gas and producing more carbon emissions! Make sure to bring your own reusable shopping bags, rather than wasting a ton of plastic/paper bags at the grocery store. You can get these at certain places for less than $1!

It's never been easier to reduce your carbon footprint. Take these small steps and you'll make a big difference!