Little Ways to Help the Environment

When the government deletes any mention of climate change from their website, some collegiettes might be wondering how to take matters into their own hands. With just a little effort, you can drastically reduce your carbon footprint and do your part in helping the environment.

Recycle.

Although it’s simple, recycling allows for the reuse of material so that we aren’t pouring goods into landfills.

Think about your commute.

Do you drive a lot? Try to bike or walk instead (and get the added benefit of exercise) or use public transport. If you’re really in a cinch, try to carpool with friends. Do you really need to commute at all? Many things you can now do online, like getting textbooks online or getting groceries from your local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).

Reduce waste.

Extra clothes in your closet, books on your shelf, and food that goes bad? Try to donate, reuse, recycle, and make shopping lists for groceries. About 40% of food goes to waste in the U.S., so work to lower that number! If your food is going bad, try starting a compost so those nutrients are working back into the soil and not going to landfills.

Use less packaging.

Zip-lock bags, plastic wrap, and paper bags all go in the trash after one use, making a huge impact on the environment. Carry a reusable water bottle and thermos when you can, and bring bags to go grocery shopping. Some stores like Starbucks even give discounts for reusable containers and offer mugs and plates for when you are staying put to do homework, so always ask about more sustainable options!

Eat local and seasonal.

Food travels from countries near and far, but eating local reduces the amount of energy needed to ship food. Look at what fruits and vegetables are in season and support farmers in the area by going to your local farmer’s market for groceries. Want to use even less energy? Grow your own food in your backyard!

Go paperless.

Reduce the amount of paper you waste and ask professors if you can turn in assignments online. If it is necessary, make sure you recycle all your papers after the semester is finished!

Use less water.

Take shorter showers, don’t leave the faucet on while brushing your teeth, always wash a full load of laundry and use a dishwasher instead of hand-washing to save gallons of water each week.

Use less electricity.

Turn off the lights when you leave a room, turn off heating and cooling systems when you don’t need them and unplug devices that aren’t using power to help the environment and lower your electricity bill.