College can be a stressful period of life that leaves you little extra time to work with. Things like living sustainably and making eco-friendly choices can often be pushed to the backburner as you attempt to keep up with your assignments and attend classes on time.
On top of that, renting a dorm or apartment can make it feel like you have little-to-no say on how your living situation impacts the environment.
Nevertheless, there are still many small, yet powerful ways that you can make green decisions while you’re living in a college apartment.
Consider the Temperature
The easiest way that you can do your part in the fight for a cleaner planet is by adjusting your thermostat. If it’s hot outside, turn up the temp by a few degrees. If you’re experiencing wintry weather, bring the thermostat down a few degrees. If the weather is nice, open the windows up and turn the HVAC system off entirely.
This won’t just reduce the amount of pollution you’re putting into the air, it can also lower your utility bill. This can be a great first step in helping you save money, address debt, and increase your financial independence.
Thriftiness is another way to better the Earth and bolster your finances at the same time. By shopping for second-hand clothing, you avoid much of the dramatic wastefulness that comes with fast fashion. You can also get gently-used furniture, sports equipment, and even electronics.
By trying to reuse rather than buy new, you will naturally reduce the quantity of garbage that you’re creating. It is also a great way to save some cash as you tighten your belt and try to get to graduation day.
Use Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products
Even if you’re renting, it’s still up to you to clean your space. Fortunately, you can even turn the act of mopping a floor or scrubbing a toilet into an eco-friendly activity by using green cleaning products.
This can reduce the number of chemicals that you’re using, protecting both the Earth and your own health in the process.
Cook for Yourself
This one can require a little more time, but if you plan things out it really doesn’t have to impact your schedule much. By purchasing food in bulk and then cooking it yourself, you can dramatically reduce the amount of packaging that you’re throwing away.
You can even take things one step further by using reusable shopping bags each time you head to the grocery store.
Bike to Class
Finally, if you live on or near campus, consider ditching your car. Instead, get a bike or walk. By opting for a fuel-free mode of transportation you can avoid putting unnecessary carbon emissions into the air.
The extra exercise is also a great way to stay fit, especially when you’re spending so much of your time sitting behind a desk.
Going Green in College
You don’t have to be the king of your own castle to make a difference. On the contrary, there are countless smaller steps you can take to do your part in the battle to protect our planet, even when you’re renting on a college campus.
So put down your textbooks for a minute and take a moment to consider where and how you can put some extra effort into creating a brighter future.
BIO: Sam Bowman has a passion for learning. As a seasoned professional writer, he specializes in topics about people, education, tech and how they merge. In his spare time he likes running, reading, and combining the two in a run to his local bookstore.