College Students Can Live the Green Life AND Benefit from It

 The moment I fell in love with nature was at the age of 7. I had just accomplished the amazing task of hiking up an inactive volcano in Hawaii! After we reached the top, we had this incredible view of the island. The beautiful majestic ocean, the vibrant green of the land below and the cool breeze that whispered against my hair mesmerized me. As I stood up on the inactive volcano, I wanted to protect this island and any piece of nature that could take my breath away. On my family’s last trip to the wilderness, we were deeply disturbed to find that our favorite nature spot consisted of clutters of trash on the land and flowing down the river. It’s heartbreaking that people take for granted the beauty and love of nature. I am not going to go Greenpeace on any of you; I just want to give you some tips to helpprotect this planet.
            Green living has a negative connotation and makes people think of changing the way they live, and costing money to do so. I get it. We are all college students with small budgets, but what if I told you that changing the smallest everyday habits could save you money and save the environment?  My old roommate taught me that by leaving your lights off during the day and opening your blinds and/or curtains to use natural lighting will save on the energy bill. Also another helpful hint that we don’t normally think about doing is changing our light bulbs.  My family used to use the regular cheap light bulbs that had a year or only a few months of life. We started using CFC light bulbs about three years ago, which have a much longer life span. In fact, the first ones we bought just lost their life about a month ago. Sad I know, I mourned its death.  If you thought that your laptop/desktop was the most used electrical device, you were right as well. Pat yourself on the back!  Simply turning off your computer every night before you go to bed will save 810 kilowatts every year.  Unplugging any unused appliance (that means your cell phone charger) can easily help with conserving energy and help you with your electric bills.
            Going green doesn’t necessarily mean that we have to adapt to not washing our hair and skipping showers for days at a time. Lowering your shower time to at least 5-10 minutes can conserve water. While you brush your teeth instead of leaving the water on, turn it off. How about conserving water in the kitchen?  Those of you who have the luxury of owning a dishwasher, don’t use it until the whole thing is full. Also remember to use the energy saving settings. Just doing these tasks every day can save up to 8 or more gallons of water per day and 2,920 gallons or more per year!
            Recycling is the obvious choice in the Pro-Green lifestyle. Sam Houston State University is covered in recycling bins for plastic, aluminum, and paper. . The university has also set up a weekly recycling day, which is on Wednesdays in front of CHSS. They collect just about every recyclable item except for glass. To encourage you to use your own reusable water bottle, the university has set up a double filter water system in the Lowman Student Center and the HKC. This water system, called The Hydration System, is easy to use and also informational. All you have to do is put your water bottle under the faucet; it will fill it up for you while informing you how many plastic bottles you are saving. If you’re not fond of the Hydration Station, there is a new water bottle called the Bobble, which filters the water as you drink. Be sure to change the filter every 5-6 months
 Plastic Bottles and Junk is an organization on campus that promotes recycling and green living in the college community. They are planning on entering the university in a recycling competition called RecycleMania. This event has many universities across the nation competing to see who can collect the most recyclable material and seeks to make students more aware ofthe causes of Global Warming.  Plastic Bottles and Junk is in full force this semester planning for RecycleMania in the spring.
            Ed Asner once said that “we all moan and groan about the loss of the quality of life through the destruction of the ecology and yet every one of us, in our own little comfortable ways contributes daily to that destruction. It’s time now to awaken in each one of us the respect and attention our beloved Mother deserves.”  It’s times that we all wake up before it’s too late. The environment is calling for us to become earth warriors and change our habits to protect this planet. It’s the only planet we have. Hopefully these easy-to-do tips will help you in your mission to living a more green life. Even changing the smallest habits can help the environment; all you have to do is try.