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5 Ways to Go Green at College

April 22, 2013
Earth Day in College: Go Green!

Recycling Containers

We all know the environment is in trouble, but luckily all the increasing awareness is leading many institutions and individuals to try going green. Wondering how you can you make a difference as a college student? There are actually plenty of ways you can help out the environment in your everyday life. Celebrate Earth Day by trying these five easy things you can do to go green at school!

1. Use those reusable bags!
Reusable canvas shopping bags are everywhere these days; many are even given out at events for free. Put them to use by bringing them with you whenever you go shopping. Whether it’s to the pharmacy, bookstore, or grocery store, avoid plastic bags by bringing along your own reusable bag.  It literally takes hundreds of years for plastic bags to decompose! So don’t leave your reusable bags crumpled up in your dorm room; remember to take them with you whenever you shop.

2. Ditch disposable drinks
One easy thing you can do to make a big difference is to invest in a refillable water bottle. You can use a water filter so you can fill it up whenever you need to, and fill it at water bubblers between classes. Not only will this help reduce waste, you’ll end up saving a lot of money by not having to buy water all the time! And if you’re a big coffee drinker, get a reusable travel mug while you’re at it! Many coffee shops these days will even give you a small discount for bringing your own. Starbucks, for instance, will take 10 cents off your coffee.

3. Unplug unused electronics
Did you know that many appliances use energy even when you’re not using them? Even if they’re turned off, as long as they’re plugged in, they are drawing out energy. Not only is it wasteful, but it adds needless charges to energy bills. Unplugging even some of your electronics when you’re not using them can help. Things like microwaves, TVs, laptops, and phone chargers are good things to be mindful of unplugging before you go out.

4. Don’t forget to recycle
This tried and true going green staple is really important. Make sure your dorm room has a bin designated for recycling, and look for recycling bins around campus. Does your school recycle regularly? If you find you’re not satisfied with your school’s recycling program, speak up! Let your college or university know that they need to keep up with the times by offering recycling in dorm buildings. It’s an easy way to go green.

5. Get involved!
If you want to try something a little more proactive and hands on, start looking for a way to get involved! Search for volunteering opportunities around your school, join an environment group, or start your own environmental awareness club at your college if they don’t have one already. Also, definitely be sure to do a quick internet search to find out what Earth Day events are taking place in your area this year!

For more information about Earth Day, visit earthday.org.

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