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10 Simple Ways to be More Eco-Friendly Around Campus

1) Crack a window instead of turning on the AC
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It’s tempting to just flip that switch every time it gets a little too warm in your room, but most of the time simply opening up your windows can solve the problem. It also helps to freshen up that stale smell that can linger in dorms! Remember though that if AC is necessary, close all the windows so you don’t waste energy.

2) Bring your own bags to stores.
Keeper.com. We all have that growing mountain of bags stocked up somewhere…

Did you know that many places in California, including LA County, have banned plastic bags and charge for paper? While this might not be law in Ventura County yet, you can still bring your own reusable cloth bags to stores and ask the clerk put your groceries in them.

3) Recycle!
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Sounds so simple, but it can be tempting to delay making that trip out to the dumpster by using your recycle bin as a second trash can. However, recycling can help reduce landfills, save energy consumption, and decrease pollution, all by just putting your stuff in a different bin!

4) Bring your own cup (and get a discount).
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It can be hard to reduce your waste on campus when you depend on take-out places for survival, but one way to do so is to bring your own personal cup to Starbucks. The barista will make your favorite drink the exact same way in your reusable cup, and you’ll even receive a 10 cent discount.

5) Take shorter showers.
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California is entering its sixth year of being in a drought. By taking steps such as shorter showers and consolidating laundry loads, you help to do your part.

6) Buy a water filter.
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Nobody really wants to drink our tap water, but there’s no need to buy plastic water bottles. Instead, get a water filter or fill up your water bottle at one of the stations on campus. It will also save you a ton of money in the long run.

7) Save energy during laundry.
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Using cold water for laundry not only prevents clothes from shrinking and fading, but also saves energy. You can also consider getting a clothes line for drying, which saves energy, money, and will make your clothes smell nice and fresh!

8) Don’t buy plastic plates or utensils.
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While you’ll have to endure washing your dishes, buying reusable dining ware can drastically reduce your waste and save you money.

9) Turn off the lights.
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Just about the easiest way to save some energy is to turn off the light when you leave your room. Also, during the day, opening the blinds often provides all the light you need.

10) Spread the word!Making these kinds of simple habit changes is awesome for the environment, but there’s only so much that one person can do on their own. By encouraging your friends and family to adapt more eco-friendly habits, your impact is multiplied. Also, larger groups of people can inspire larger changes, like getting composting programs started, banning plastic bags in more areas, and heightening water restrictions. So go out there and make a difference!

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Ellie Long

Cal Lutheran '20

Ellie is a junior at Cal Lutheran, majoring in Political Science with minors in Creative Writing and Global Studies. She was born and raised in Seattle but loves living in sunny Southern California. Her favorite activities include hiking, running, cooking, and of course, writing. 
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