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Green a Little, Save a Lot: 10 Ways to “Go Green” on a Collegiette Budget

Today’s college women face a number of responsibilities that keep us busy all hours of the day. Classes, part time jobs, extracurricular activities, school events and social engagements leave little time for the average collegiette to give too much thought to the environment.

The green movement is quickly taking over. However, going green isn’t always seen as easy or affordable. The good news is collegiettes  are in the position to positively impact environmental conservation efforts, even on a student budget.

Here are ten easy ways YOU can start making a difference:

1. Turn off the lights
Use natural lighting when possible and turn off the lights when you leave a room to save energy.

2. Turn off the water
Leaving the faucet running while brushing your teeth can waste up to 1.3 gallons of water each time! Try taking shorter showers, and be sure to turn off the water while doing dishes, using the sink, etc.

3.  Reuse paper and other school supplies

Save paper by using both sides of the page when taking notes. Use scrap paper instead of index cards as note cards, and save your supplies from year to year. Also try cutting down on paper waste by limiting printing by printing in draft mode and printing on both sides.

4. Go paperless
Save a tree and go online; switch to paperless mailing for bank accounts and bills. You can also save a lot of paper by taking notes on a laptop or tablet. Bank of America, Chase and Sovereign Bank all offer paperless options!

5. Wash clothes in cold water and only wash full loads
Washing your clothing in cold water will help prevent heat damage to your clothing. It also uses less electricity, which in return produces less CO2. You can also save water and energy by waiting and only washing loads at full capacity.

6. Use recyclable shopping bags

Limit your use of plastic bags by purchasing reusable shopping bags. These now come in a variety of stylish options and can be used for shopping, groceries, and even carrying books to class. You can find cute and affordable reusable shopping bags at Envirosax, Greener Grass Design, Etsy.com and ImOrganic.com.

7. Download a free energy-saving application for your computer
The best way to reduce the energy consumption of your computer when you’re not using it is by turning it off completely. If this isn’t an option, download an energy-saving application for your computer. I recommend the one from LocalCooling.

8. Look for recycling bins
Use the recycling bins around campus or create one for your room. To educate yourself on the recycling rules so that you don’t recycle anything that can’t be processed, be sure to take a look at Northeastern University’s recycling guidelines.

9. Unplug electronics
Every year  Americans waste about $4 billion by leaving electronic plugged in when they are not using them. Save money and energy by turning off and unplugging electronics when they’re not in use. Turn off your cable box as well as your TV when you’re finished watching. When you go home for holidays, unplug your lamps, clocks, chargers, etc.  

10. Rent your textbooks
Save money and the environment by renting your textbooks. You can also study with a classmate and share textbooks. You can rent textbooks at the Northeastern Book Store or online at Chegg.com and eCampus.com.

Photos: Green.iteminfo.com, northtexaskids, oneordinaryday.wordpress, riverbennaturecenter

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