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After celebrating my first Earth Day away at college, I took the time to think about my impact on the environment. I found that I have taken efforts to reduce my damage to Mother Earth, but there are still many ways myself and my university can improve on when it comes to sustainable, clean living. Here are a few easy suggestions to be more eco-conscious when living on-campus:

Recycle & Reuse

A lot of universities will provide recycle bins or drop-off locations to discard paper, plastic, glass, etc. that would otherwise go in with the regular trash. Even if you have to bring your own bucket to sort your recyclables out, your small contribution can make a positive impact.

Conserve Energy

Many students are guilty of over-using the dorm hall amenities because they’re all-inclusive facilities, but conserving energy isn’t only eco-conscious — it’s financially-conscious, too. Turn off your lights and fans when you leave your room, take shorter showers, and unplug your electronics when you leave for a longer period of time. This will reduce your energy consumption, which can in turn keep the costs of on-campus living from increasing in future years.

Limit Takeout

College dorm halls tend to come with a communal kitchen for students to use (unless you live in a suite or apartment with a personal kitchen, which is even better). If you have the resources to buy groceries and cook for yourself, this can save you a lot of unnecessary waste you produce from getting takeout from restaurants and the campus dining hall.

Keep it Clean

Student life is understandably fast-paced and constantly busy. However, please take the time to be conscious of any trash you might come across on campus. Don’t contribute to littering, pick up garbage that was discarded on the ground, or just encourage others to properly dispose of their waste. This is one of the simplest ways to protect the earth from random debris that can harm wildlife and build up over time.

Walk, Bike, or Rideshare

Chances are you won’t have the opportunity to drive to class, work, etc. when you’re in college, so it’s the perfect time to take advantage of other methods of transportation that can reduce pollution you would otherwise produce from driving a car everywhere. You can walk, bike, skateboard, take the campus shuttle, or carpool with a friend. Some people even use electric scooters to travel around campus!

If your university isn’t already on board with these eco-conscious initiatives, I highly suggest advocating for a more sustainable campus life. These few suggestions can be starting points for bigger plans more geared towards your community or living situation. Do more research on sustainable habits to gain a better understanding of the costs, benefits, and environmental effects of specific methods to help our planet.

Kayla is a sophomore Social Media Theory and Strategy student at Kutztown University. Her interests range from youth activism to the latest beauty trends, so she is always glad to see these topics brought into the online networking world.
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